Tokyo: A court in Japan on Friday ruled that Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and the government are liable for negligence in a case involving compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the first time the judiciary has ruled the state has liability, Japanese media reported.
The district court in Maebashi, north of Tokyo, ruled in favour of 137 evacuees seeking damages for the emotional distress of fleeing their homes as radiation spread from the meltdowns at Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi plant after an earthquake and tsunami six years ago.
Tepco has long been criticized for ignoring the threat posed by natural disasters to the Fukushima plant. Tepco said in a statement it would review the contents of the ruling before making a response.
Three reactors at Tepco’s Fukushima plant suffered meltdowns after a magnitude 9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeastern coastline and killed more than 15,000 people.