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TEPCO ordered to pay damages over evacuation after Fukushima nuclear disaster

TOKYO -- The Tokyo District Court on March 27 ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to pay a total of about 21 million yen in compensation to 13 people in seven households who were forced to evacuate from their hometown in the village of Iitate in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

TEPCO had paid some 100,000 yen a month to each of the evacuees until March 2018 for psychological suffering after the incident. However, in the ruling, the court recognized that the amount was inadequate for 13 of the 42 plaintiffs, who had demanded a total of roughly 1.68 billion yen in compensation and other damages, ordering the power company to pay between 330,000 yen and 3.52 million yen to each of the 13 plaintiffs.

Presiding Judge Tetsuro Nakayoshi also recognized that the forced evacuation deprived evacuees of a stable livelihood, and caused them to suffer from uncertainty over radioactive decontamination work following the nuclear disaster and experience inconvenience at evacuation sites. The court calculated the compensation amount taking into account each evacuee's situation, such as caring for sick family members, living apart from their family and being elderly.

Of all the 42 plaintiffs in 14 households, the majority evacuated to the city of Fukushima and have not returned to their homes even after the nuclear evacuation order was lifted in March 2017.

(Japanese original by Akira Hattori, City News Department)

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