Ex-Futaba mayor sues state, Tepco over Fukushima nuclear disaster
Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed a lawsuit against the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday for exposing him to excessive radiation since the March 2011 nuclear disaster.
Seeking ¥148.5 million in damages, Idogawa, 69, claimed that sloppy management by the central government and Tepco caused him to receive radiation over the annual limit during the early phase of the disaster, when hydrogen explosions and the venting of steam from reactor containment vessels took place.
Futaba is one of the two municipalities that host Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the disaster.
At a news conference, Idogawa expressed regrets for his inability to protect local residents from radiation. He also asked Futaba residents to join the lawsuit.
In his petition, Idogawa claimed to have received the excessive radiation between March 11, 2011, when the disaster started, and March 19 that year, when residents evacuated Futaba for Saitama Prefecture.
This was because as Futaba mayor he took part in work to collect information, secure places to which local residents could evacuate, and instruct and guide fleeing locals, according to the petition.
The suit, filed with the Tokyo District Court, is the first seeking compensation for health damage from events early in the nuclear crisis, according to Idogawa’s attorney.
Source : Japan Times
Ex-mayor sues state, TEPCO for stress caused by nuclear disaster
A former mayor who was exposed to high levels of radiation after the 2011 nuclear disaster is suing the central government and the operator of the wrecked Fukushima power plant for stress.
Katsutaka Idogawa, the former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, filed the lawsuit on May 20 at the Tokyo District Court. He is seeking 148.5 million yen ($1.22 million) in compensation.
“Even after the accident, I was forced to stay in the town as mayor and thus exposed to a high dose of radiation from the plant,” the complaint said.
“The central government delayed giving evacuation orders and even when they were issued, the areas under evacuation orders were inappropriate.”
Idogawa, 69, said the excessive radiation he was exposed to caused him to become stressed over health concerns.
His written complaint pointed out the central government failed to issue evacuation orders to the town appropriately following the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.
Idogawa also lambasted the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, for their reluctance to take necessary measures to protect against future tsunami disasters.
“The government and TEPCO bear responsibility for neglecting to implement advance countermeasures against potential tsunami, even though they recognized such need,” the complaint said.
Four years after the disaster, evacuation orders are still in place for Futaba town, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Most areas are designated as “difficult-to-return” zones because annual accumulated radiation levels exceed 50 millisieverts.
During a news conference in Tokyo on May 20, Idogawa said: “We could not protect the town residents because we believed in the words the government and TEPCO said that the nuclear accident would never happen. I hope I can guide those suffering from concerns over radiation exposure.”
Source : Asahi Shimbun