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TEPCO ordered to pay compensation over 2 Fukushima evacuee deaths

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) was ordered to pay compensation over the deaths of two evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in rulings at the Tokyo District Court on May 25.

    The court, presided over by Judge Yuko Mizuno, ordered that a total of around 30 million yen be paid in the two cases to the relatives of evacuees Masami Fujiyoshi, who died at age 97, and a woman who died at age 86. Fujiyoshi was a patient at Futaba Hospital in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, and the woman was a patient at an adjacent, related facility for the elderly. Both died after being evacuated by bus around 230 kilometers away to the city of Iwaki. They were among around 50 patients at the facilities who died after the disaster.

    The rulings are the third and fourth concerning patients evacuated from Futaba Hospital or related facilities. Just as in the first and second rulings, the latest rulings recognized a causal relationship between the nuclear disaster and the deaths of the evacuees.

    Plaintiffs in the two newer cases had sought a total of about 66 million yen in compensation. In each of the latest cases the court set the compensation to be paid at 20 million yen, then reduced this by around 20 to 30 percent based on the evacuees' pre-existing conditions unrelated to the nuclear disaster.

    TEPCO released a comment saying, "We will check the ruling and respond to it sincerely."

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