A portal site connecting Fukushima and the World

» District court is due to rule whether TEPCO is responslibe for a suicide case in Fukushima

The Fukushima District Court is due to rule next month on a claim that TEPCO is responsible for a woman’s suicide, in a landmark case that could force TEPCO to publicly admit culpability for deaths related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In July 2011, Hamako Watanabe returned to her still-radioactive hilltop home, doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire.

She left no suicide note but her husband, Mikio, says Tepco is directly responsible.

“If that accident hadn’t happened, we would have lived a normal, peaceful life” on their family farm some 50 km from the plant, said Watanabe, now 64, who discovered her charred body.

The Fukushima District Court is expected to rule in late August on Watanabe’s lawsuit, which Tepco is contesting. The outcome could set a precedent for claims against TEPCO.

TEPCO has settled a number of suicide-related claims through a government dispute resolution system, but declined to say how many or give details on how much it has paid.

Japan has made public 25 disaster-related death cases that were settled through the resolution system, some for more than ¥16 million. Causes of death were not always specified, and include those due to natural causes, such as elderly patients who died in evacuation centers. A Mainichi report this week said arbitrators were encouraged to automatically halve requested damage to expedite the process.
<Media Report>
Fukushima farmer takes on Tepco over wife’s suicide (Japan Times)

Tags:, , ,



Fukushima Stories&Facts