efforts have not made good progress to save nuclear-disaster-hit people who
were forced to evacuate or obliged to leave home after the Fukushima-Daiichi
power plant was crippled due to the earthquakes and tsunami. According to the
announcement of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) made early February, its total
payment made reaches 370.5 billion Yen. The number of claims counts 86
thousand, out of which a little more than a half cases have barely reached an
agreement. TEPCO has paid for 30 thousands claims for the loss, but it precedes
businesses and organizations to individual persons.
COMPENSATION MONEY SHOULD BE PAID THROUGH COLLECTIVE LAWSUIT
of several hundreds of thousand residents ordered to evacuate from home have
not been guaranteed for the losses incurred, much less those who 'voluntarily'
left the endangered areas with nominal compensation money. It is because the sums
set by the central government and TEPCO are incredibly low and the necessary
procedures are extremely complicated. Evacuees were paid 100 thousand Yen a
month as consolation money for the first six months after the nuclear crisis, but
later the sum dropped to a half. That is unreasonable. Evacuees are indignant
as they are left behind without financial recuperation.
for Property Approved by Government
government body, the Center for Dispute Resolution for Compensating Damages
from the Nuclear Power Plant Accident (ADR=alternative dispute resolution), was
established under the Ministry of Education and Science & Technology to
seek settlement without suing at a law court. The evacuees from Okuma-machi, a
city in which the damaged power plant domiciles, successfully had the center
present a reconciliation plan late last year. The payment exceeded the proposed
guidelines set by the state and TEPCO. The residents had demanded compensation
for their own houses (though TEPCO does not approve to indemnify the real
estate assets) and for a monthly payment of 500 thousand Yen. The government center
approved the requests in the basic terms and presented a reconciliation plan.
however, rejected on January 26 and the relevant parties again demand the
utility company to give a reply. TEPCO may repel again.
education ministry's center presented again mid-February criteria which exceed
the general norms of state government and TEPCO; which rejects reduction of
compensation money and approves partial indemnification for the loss of property
of forced evacuees and actual evacuation costs of those who fled 'voluntarily'.
criteria may not be considered as the minimum but be accepted as a standardized
rule. TEPCO will keep its extension strategy as it is exempt from legal
obligation to the center's scheme.
fact as of mid-February in total 997 requests had been raised at the center,
but only eight of the cases were settled. In parallel, municipal authorities,
urged by the desperate anger of residents, have begun to take advantage of the government's
center by entrusting the residents' claims to big attorney offices specializing
in money disputes. Now thousands of cases have been presented to the resolution
center, which is too numerous to respond. Evacuees want an earliest settlement,
but compensation may be made in the standardized manner to be settled in
payment of low sums.
people are completely deprived of the rights to live; even if they receive
several hundreds of million Yen, their previous living conditions may not be recovered.
They demand to return the future of children and the loss of lives of families
and friends. The forced evacuation shortened their lives.
victims use the government center, they must have conscientious attorneys. For
the evacuees it is more effective to fight in a collective lawsuit to win a good
level of compensation to reflect it to the government body.
Divide Disaster-hit People!
TEPCO is obliged to reply that 'it will cover the entire loss of real estate
values owned by those who cannot back home in five years'. It may amount
several hundreds of million Yen per person, if the electric firm indemnifies
for all the real estate loss. That is why both the state and TEPCO calculate
cunningly: compensation will be made to residents who cannot return home, but the
sum will be cut down to pay to the claimers from the areas where 'radiation decontamination
efforts' can be made.
conducted by a major newspaper Asahi on the evacuees show surprising results:
in the study made in June last year, 62% of contesters had said to 'back home',
but in another conducted in February this year, only 36% replied to return
home. 45% of evacuated people cannot plan their future, and 33% say that
'decontamination processes' are definitely ineffective, with 45%, saying not
effective. The evacuees want to return home but cannot do so.
government plans to reclassify the radio-active materials -contaminated areas from
coming April. Excluding the areas which show over 50 mm Sv/h, the authority
will gradually relieve the prohibition order for other areas to 'allow'
residents to return home. The posture is the same taken when the government
responded to Hibakushas of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is smart. The method is
similar when the government split Hibakushas in the compensation efforts.
has destroyed lives and forced people to evacuate. But it survives in a
carefree manner without fulfilling responsibilities as an offender. Unless the
company's stance is accused of, nuclear power generation will regain its