Japan’s Supreme Court absolves the government of all responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear accident


Some thirty rulings of fewer cases pointed to the state, noting that the government and company handled a report that warned of the risks posed by high-intensity earthquakes.

A group of plaintiffs affected by tragedy protest before Supreme Nipp
A group of plaintiffs, affected by the tragedy, protest before the Japanese Supreme Court.Eugene HoshikoAP

Supreme Court of Japan today ratified a decision that exempts the government from any legal responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, in a decision that could set a precedent in lawsuits still ongoing against the state.

The highest Japanese court through four lawsuits filed in the prefectures of Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba and Ehime rejected the claims of about 3,700 people who had to leave their homes and saw their lives seriously affected by the 2011 disaster. .

The Chamber’s president, Judge Hiroyuki Kanno, said of the guilty sentence: “The actual tsunami was higher than expected and even if the state ordered TEPCO (the operating company) to take additional measures, it is very likely that an accident may have occurred.” has not been avoided”, according to the public network NHK.

Today’s ruling is the High Court’s first and supports the decision that the Tokyo High Court delivered in 2021.

This is also the second in favor of the state, a . After Thirty sentences of lesser cases that held the government responsible, And it hopes to set a precedent in the resolution of similar lawsuits filed in other parts of Japan.

The sentences that gave responsibility to the state indicated that both the government and Tepco handled a report prepared before the catastrophe, which warned of the risks posed by a high-intensity earthquake and a tsunami of about 16 meters in height. , and potential countermeasures were suggested.

Today’s verdict leaves the owner of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tepco, as solely responsible for payment Just over 1,400 million yen (9.3 million euros) in damages from the four lawsuits.

Japan still awaits the final resolution of dozens of legal cases launched by groups of victims of the nuclear disaster, who argue that the catastrophe could have been avoided with preventive measures and the destruction of their homes and the long-term impact on their lives. Compensation could be claimed for effect till date.

The earthquake and tsunami triggered a partial meltdown in three of the plant’s four reactor cores, spreading radioactive contamination to a wide area around the plant and forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people.

In February this year, more than 38,000 people were still unable to return to their homes, of whom more than 26,000 were residents of Fukushima Prefecture. In all, more than 15,500 continued to reside in temporary housing.

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