On 11 June 2012, a large number of people from Fukushima formed a united front as Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs and collectively filed a case against 33 people for the immense damage resulting from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The accused are executives from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Nuclear Safety Commission, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), academics, and the Radiation Risk and Health Management Advisors for Fukushima Prefecture. Health Management Advisor for Fukushima Prefecture. The case was formally accepted by the court on 1st August 2012. During the preparation for the legal action, over 600 plaintiffs wrote poignant statements telling of the pain and sorrow in losing their normal life, home, livelihood and ties with co-workers and the community, of their fear of the effects of radiation on the health of their children and the hard reality of being separated from their families. The group is calling for people all over Japan to participate as plaintiffs in a nationwide legal action planned for this autumn.
Statement by Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs on the joint legal action, 11th June 2012
Today, we are bringing a lawsuit against those responsible for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster at the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors’ Office. Our ordinary but happy lives have been completely ruined and our human rights profoundly violated since the nuclear accident. United through our experience, we are joining forces here today to voice our collective anger.
It has required great courage on our part to take this step to press criminal charges. To accuse someone of wrong-doing makes us reflect on the way we live our lives too. This action will have an enormous significance. This process will:
- Question this society where people are not treated equally and where some people are sacrificed for the gains of others
- Help us rebuild personal and community relationships torn apart by the disaster, and help us expand our supportive networks
- Enable us to reclaim our strength and dignity
Only by going down this path, we can fulfill our obligations to our children and all young people. Each one of us must stand by all the people and living things around us and act to change the world for the better. We have to resist those who divide us, grow stronger by being united and be unflinching in holding to account those responsible for the accident.
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs