State, Tepco Ordered To Pay Compensation

State, TEPCO ordered to pay compensation

A Japanese court has ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company to compensate about 20 people who evacuated to Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.

The Matsuyama District Court handed down the ruling on Tuesday.

Twenty-five people of 10 households had demanded that the state and the plant's operator pay them a total of 140 million yen, or 1.3 million dollars. They said they lost the foundation of their livelihood and suffered mental anguish.

The presiding judge said that if the government's now-defunct nuclear safety agency had ordered TEPCO in 2002 to estimate the impacts of tsunami, it would have taken anti-flood measures based on the possibility of a more-than-10-meter-high tsunami hitting the plant.

That year, the government publicized a long-term assessment of seismic activity around the region.

The court ordered the defendants to pay a total of about 245,000 dollars to all but two plaintiffs who were born after the evacuation.

The ruling is the eighth in group lawsuits filed against the state and TEPCO by people affected by the nuclear accident. The government was found liable in six of the cases at lower courts.