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Fukushima Pref. to seek nuclear accident compensation via alternative dispute resolution

FUKUSHIMA -- The prefectural government here is planning for the first time to seek compensation through the system of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for a portion of damages resulting from the nuclear disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

    The Fukushima Prefectural Government's claim is scheduled to be filed as early as April with a center for resolving disputes regarding nuclear damage compensation after gaining approval from the prefectural assembly.

    The claim seeks about 1 billion yen in compensation for costs associated with the nuclear crisis that include the salaries of employees for a radiation contamination department that was newly created following the disaster, as well as expenditures associated with combatting harmful rumors.

    Compensation through the ADR system has already been sought by a total of seven prefectures in addition to Fukushima: five additional prefectures in the Tohoku region, along with Gunma and Chiba prefectures. An ADR-related settlement has been reached by Iwate Prefecture.

    Fukushima Prefecture has already sought a total of around 30.4 billion yen in damages from TEPCO, which provided compensation totaling some 14.1 billion yen for costs including treatment and management of waste products containing radioactive materials, as well as examinations for radioactive contamination of agricultural and livestock products.

    The Fukushima Prefectural Government plans to initially seek a total of around 1 billion yen via ADR, and to subsequently decide based upon the response whether to ask for the rest of the funds.

    A representative of TEPCO's Fukushima press bureau said in an interview, "We would like to respond in a sincere manner."

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