TOKYO: Four officials from Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tepco, and the Fukushima nuclear plant were summoned to the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday as part of an ongoing trial involving 40 shareholders.
Top Tepco officials attended the trial. They included Vice-Chairman Sakae Muto, CEO Ichiro Takekuro, former president Tsunehisa Katsumata, and another executive. Lawyers questioned their knowledge of tsunami response reports before the 2011 disaster that crippled the nuclear power plant, mainly by the tsunami’s impact.
Despite a government order to bring all nuclear power plants in Japan up to safety standards, especially to avoid tsunamis, Tepco and the operating company of the Fukushima plant officials did not consider it necessary to improve anti-tsunami measures.
During the trial, vice-chairman Sakae Muto denied knowing about the reports recommended to raise the anti-tsunami wall. He said he was not competent in this area, which annoyed the judge and his two assessors, who reminded the accused of his responsibilities when he was vice-president.
Takeguro spoke in an almost inaudible manner which also earned him a rebuke from the judge. At the end of their hearing, Katsumata, former Tepco chairman, apologized to all the victims.
The lawyers for the civil party, Hiroyuki Kawai and Kaito, highlighted the judge’s action in reprimanding the defendants.