On October 1st, the oral argument and interrogation were held at the Sendai High Court. Many of our supporters from Tokyo, Koriyama and Fukushima came to Sendai on that day. In the interrogation, the presiding judge asked the appellants to assert and prove why the individual children are not able to evacuate by themselves. The appellants submitted the legal brief (the refutation of the assertion from the Koriyama City and additional assertions based on the facts) and new evidence. Although they also proposed the court to allow Dr. Yagasaki and Dr. Matsugasaki to show their opinions from the perspectives of experts about the recent findings that one child in the Fukushima Prefecture was diagnosed as thyroid cancer and that 43% of the children in Fukushima City have a tubercular or a cyst in their thyroid gland, the court did not do so. Furthermore, they claimed to summon Dr. Tomoya Yamauchi and Shunichi Yamashita, the Vice President of Fukushima Medical University, as witnesses, but the court rejected this request.
After that, two mothers emotionally appealed the court why they decided to be plaintiffs, how much sacrifices were involved in voluntary evacuation and why they require the government to take responsibility for evacuation. By the next hearing on the November 26th, appellants are going to assert and prove in response to the request of the presiding judge as well as to add more assertion and proof regarding the severity of anticipated children’s health damage and the urgency of the evacuation.
What was notable in this interrogation was that the presiding judge showed an interest in the reasons why children cannot evacuate by themselves, but he had little interest in the real situation of the health damage by radiation. There are two possible reasons for this. One is that he is intended to overrule the statement because he thinks that the preservation is not necessary. The other is that he is going to approve the testimony once the appellants submit enough evidence to persuade him the necessity of the preservation.
There is no telling which is correct and it is also useless to inquire into this. The most important thing may be that more and more citizens should raise a cry of protest in order to strengthen the judge’s resolution if his intention is to approve the testimony, or to change his mind if he is going to reject it.
The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial