KORIYAMA, Fukushima -- A group supporting a criminal accusation over the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident launched a petition to have lawyers, who served as prosecutors in the trial of former Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Holdings Inc. executives, file an appeal against the Sept. 19 ruling.
The Tokyo District Court acquitted three former TEPCO executives, who were forcibly indicted, of professional negligence causing death or injury over the nuclear meltdowns at the utility's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
On Sept. 29, members of the support group collected signatures near the west exit of Koriyama Station in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Koriyama, northeast Japan. Many people including parents accompanied by children and youngsters signed the petition after stopping to listen to the group's argument.
The group also launched an online petition on Sept. 21, and says it has already gathered over 10,000 signatures.
"Though just 57 people were identified as victims in the trial, we keep in mind that all Fukushima Prefecture residents are victims. We urge that the judicial branch as an independent organization exercise the right judgment in consideration of the victims," said Kazuyoshi Sato, 66, head of the group.
On Sept. 27, lawyers representing victims submitted a statement deeming the Sept. 19 ruling factually erroneous and demanded lawyers, who served as prosecutors, file an appeal.
The support group will gather signatures until Oct. 2 and submit the petition as "the voice of Fukushima Prefecture residents" to the prosecutors.
(Japanese original by Mina Isogai, Fukushima Bureau)