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Japan’s Supreme Court confirmed compensation to Fukushima victims

Japan’s Supreme Court confirmed compensation to Fukushima victims

Tokyo, Mar 4 (Prensa Latina) The Supreme Court of Japan confirmed today that Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) must pay more than 12 million dollars to some 3,700 people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that the average payment of around 380,000 yen (about 3,300 dollars) for each victim covered three class-action lawsuits, among more than 30 against the utility.

This Friday, the court rejected an appeal by Tepco and declared it negligent in taking preventive measures against a tsunami of that size, the broadcaster said.

Meanwhile, the court withheld a verdict on the role of the government, which is also a defendant in the lawsuits, and will hold a hearing next month to rule on its culpability, NHK added.

On this issue the lower courts have been divided over the extent of government responsibility in foreseeing the disaster and in requiring Tepco to take measures to prevent it.

The tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Japan’s northeastern coast in March 2011 hit Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant and triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Some 470,000 people were forced to evacuate in the first few days and tens of thousands have still not been able to return.

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