I spent seven months writing this judgment. Please listen carefully to the end.
The solemn voice of the presiding judge echoed through the 103rd courtroom of the Tokyo District Court. He made an unusual request to the audience, saying, “I know you have something to say, but I ask that you keep it to yourself. He then read the verdict for more than 30 minutes, before turning his tone to a more forceful one.
The defendants’ actions may have been commonplace within TEPCO, but as nuclear operators, we must say that they fundamentally lacked safety awareness and a sense of responsibility.
The July 13 ruling in the shareholder lawsuit over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Judge Yoshihide Asakura ordered TEPCO to pay a total of 13.321 trillion yen to four former executives, including former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata (82) and former president Masataka Shimizu (78), for failing to take tsunami countermeasures and causing massive damage to the company.
This is the first judicial decision to recognize the negligence of the former management team in the nuclear accident, and is probably the highest level of compensation ever awarded. The court noted that while the possibility of a tsunami exceeding the height of the site was pointed out by the government’s Earthquake Research Promotion Headquarters and within TEPCO, the former management did not give specific instructions. If there had been instructions, the department in charge found that ‘it would have been quite possible to conceive of countermeasures against flooding,'” said a judicial affairs reporter for a national newspaper.
I don’t know!”
At a press conference following the verdict, Yuichi Kaiwatari, attorney for the plaintiffs, expressed his joy, saying, “This is a 100-point verdict.
It is a 100-point verdict. I am sure that the many residents who have been driven into a hard life will be sincerely pleased. I hope that the court’s decision will make it clear that executives of nuclear power companies bear a very heavy responsibility, and that it will lead to management decisions that will lead to a shift away from nuclear power generation.
How do the former TEPCO management feel about their responsibility for the nuclear accident? In December 2012, a year and a half after the accident, former TEPCO Chairman Katsumata was having lunch alone at the ramen restaurant “Okachiken” in Yotsuya, Tokyo. When “FRIDAY” directly interviewed him after the meal, he explained himself as follows: “I don’t know!
I don’t know! I left everything in the hands of the current employees. It is not right to say things irresponsibly.
According to the court decision, the former management of TEPCO was corrupt and took great pains to keep unfavorable information from becoming public. The court’s decision calls into question once again whether the former TEPCO management had any sense of responsibility as the top executives of a major corporation that caused an unprecedented accident.
Photo by： Yasuko Funamoto, Shinji Hasuo