FUKUSHIMA: After six years of legal proceedings, the Fukushima District Court has rejected a lawsuit by parents filed against power company TEPCO, Fukushima Prefecture and the state of Japan.
The parents, who believe their children’s thyroid cancer was linked to the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster 10 years ago, sought compensation and an apology from the defendants.
After the decision was announced, the group of parents shouted in anger.
Fukushima Prefecture conducted an epidemiological survey in the region in 2011 to determine whether the increase in thyroid cancers was linked to exposure to radioactive particles. However, despite an increase in the number of tumours and nodules in children, it was determined that there was no connection to the nuclear accident.
Dr. Shunichi Yamashita, who was tasked with overseeing evacuations at the time of the nuclear disaster, downplayed the risk to people by saying that a smile would protect against radiation.
The group of lawyers acting for the families of the children want the trial to change the standards that determine contamination.
At a press conference, Mr. Kono, leader of the group of plaintiffs, stated: “Children have the right to a safe education in a secure environment and the administration must protect this right. There was avoidable contamination due to government mismanagement and statements by Dr, Yamashita.”
In the years following the nuclear catastrophe, 252 children contracted thyroid cancer.