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Judges may order gov't to submit redacted report in lawsuit over Fukushima disaster

A judge presiding at a trial over the Fukushima nuclear crisis said the judges in charge will decide by the end of this year on whether to order the government to submit some of its investigation committee's reports on the disaster that have been withheld.

    Presiding Judge Akihiko Otake at the Tokyo District Court made the remark on Oct. 13 during an oral proceeding of the suit filed by shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, to clarify the responsibility of former TEPCO board members over the disaster.

    Otake also said the judges in charge will conduct an in camera review on other documents, part of which has been blacked out before they were disclosed, to deem whether the measure is appropriate.

    Specifically, the judges will examine documents recording statements by the now deceased Masao Yoshida, who headed the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant at the time of the outbreak of the disaster in March 2011, and those by two officials of the then Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

    The documents were disclosed after the names of individuals and some other information were blacked out. The court said it has already ordered the Cabinet Office to submit the documents with the blacked-out parts unveiled. The Cabinet Office has reportedly responded that it intends to comply with the order by the end of this week.

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