Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Lawyers for the Fukushima victims submitted a 370-page document during an appeal for the lawsuit to implicate three former directors of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for “negligence causing death.”
Lawyers Hiroyuki Kawaii and Yuichi Kaido explained to supporters that Tokyo District Court judges refused to hear witnesses and visit the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant site. They also said they added to the file photos filmed of the damaged plant and attached opinions and judgments indicating what they considered “TEPCO’s responsibility.”
Kaido said he made the document because most plaintiffs wanted to continue the legal proceedings against Toshiro Muto, Tsunehisa Katsumata and Ichiro Takekuro, the three former directors of Tepco.
A Fukushima woman spoke outside the Tokyo High Court building, claiming that the three Tepco officials “ignored the report that advised TEPCO to raise the wall against the tsunami, and they should have been found guilty in the verdict.”
The Fukushima nuclear plant survived the big shaking caused by March 11, 2011, magnitude-9.0 temblor because of earthquake safety measures put in place long before. However, against the 15 meters high tsunami, the nuclear power station was almost defenseless; the mass daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported, indicating that TEPCO ignored tsunami warnings for years.
A giant tsunami swamped the nuclear plant with an unstoppable wall of water that could easily breach the plant’s breakwater wall and wash away the pumps that supplied water to cool the nuclear reactors sitting on the ground about 10 meters above sea level.
Most of the 13 emergency generators were in the basements of reactor buildings close to the ocean, with only three aboveground.
According to the paper, TEPCO had said that a situation where all the nuclear reactors lost all their power sources would be “unthinkable,” no matter how bad the disaster.
“On March 11, the unthinkable became a reality,” the paper said, reporting that TEPCO underestimated the threat posed by a tsunami that could stop power generators placed near the ocean.