Fukushima cattle producer’s beef with TEPCO, government leads to lawsuit


Kazuo Ueno points to a large pile of manure on his ranch in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, 
on July 14. 
 

KORIYAMA, Fukushima Prefecture–A local cattle producer has sued Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the government to recover 500 million yen ($4 million) in losses it says it suffered as a result of the 2011 nuclear disaster.
In the suit filed with the Koriyama branch of the Fukushima District Court on July 16, the plaintiff, Ueno Bokujo, cited a drop in beef cattle prices. It also contends that it has been forced to spend more on the disposal of manure produced by its herds due to declining sales following the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The company, which raises nearly 2,900 heads of cattle on its ranches in Koriyama and Tamura, is one of the largest such producers in Fukushima Prefecture.
Ueno Bokujo says TEPCO has failed to pay it the 200 million yen that it says it lost due to a drop in beef cattle prices in fiscal 2014.
According to an arrangement made after the accident, TEPCO was to compensate farmers for losses incurred if they made a claim.
The cattle producer estimates it will cost 2 billion yen to dispose of the 17,000 tons of manure that have accumulated on its farms.
The suit is the first to seek compensation for lost sales of compost, according to the Fukushima Prefectural Central Union Agricultural Cooperatives.
“We will respond sincerely after listening carefully to what the plaintiff has to say in court,” a TEPCO official said.
A government official declined to comment, saying a written complaint has not yet been delivered.
Source : Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201507240084

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