TEPCO to Get Ruling in July over March 2011 Meltdowns

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--A ruling on a shareholder derivative lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> over the March 2011 nuclear accident at its Fukushima No. 1 power plant will be handed down on July 13 next year.

In the lawsuit, shareholders are demanding that TEPCO pay 22 trillion yen in damages to take responsibility for the alleged failure of five former executives, including former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 81, to take countermeasures against tsunami.

Oral proceedings at Tokyo District Court were concluded on Tuesday, more than nine years since the lawsuit was instituted, marking a milestone in the civil suit with demand for the highest-ever compensation in Japan.

During Tuesday's hearing, shareholders once again pointed to negligence on the part of the five former TEPCO executives over the nuclear accident at the power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. An unprecedented triple meltdown accident occurred after the plant was struck by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequently triggered huge tsunami.

Shareholders claim that TEPCO could have predicted the tsunami and taken precautions against flooding, on the basis of long-term assessments by a government committee noting the possibility of an 8.0-magnitude-class massive quake along the Japan Trench in the Pacific, including off the coast of Fukushima.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press