Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs
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.
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
Sign our Petition
"I felt as if my veins were cut and the blood was running out": Migrant mother of three children addressed in a statement for TEPCO lawsuit in Okayama district
The organization of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs recently published a booklet containing 50 letters, written by disaster victims of various ages.
The letters included in the booklet were selected from the written statements for the criminal lawsuit against TEPCO and government officials at the time of the nuclear accident. All these letters were originally submitted to the Fukushima High Court in June 2012, along with the letters of complaint. 1324 Fukushima residents, including evacuees outside the prefecture, presented themselves as plaintiffs. It was the biggest number of plaintiffs in the history of criminal trials in Japan, and the number of plaintiffs for the second trial has increased to 14716.
WNSCR would like to introduce two letters from the booklet, both written by young children.
(The original Japanese texts are in P18-21, Koredemo Tsumi wo Toenaino desuka!, Fukushima Genpatsu Kokusodan, 2013)
The booklet (Japanese only) is available online in the offical website of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs, and also in major online bookstores.
On April 27, 2013, the 2nd general plaintiffs’ assembly was held in Koriyama city and they declared the resolution statement at the meeting. At the end of the assembly, the chairperson Ruiko Muto read out her own statement.
“Our direction is now clear. We acknowledge that every one of us makes an important part of the collective plaintiff team. We are not alone in solitude; rather we are surrounded by a lot of people with warm hearts. We make our promises, and repeat them over and over again. We refuse to be dispersed. We refuse our dignity to be taken away. Not anymore. We keep holding our hands.”
In March 2012, a large number of people who demand legal investigations of TEPCO and the government formed the 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. By November 2012, 14,716 individual complaints had been collected and submitted to the Fukushima regional district court. Since January 2013 the urgent petition campaign for demanding legal investigation and prosecution had collected 108,333 signatures and they too were submitted to the Fukushima court.
The world is watching! Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs sent additional 530 signatures to Fukushima
World Network for Saving Children from Radiation supported the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs in collecting signatures overseas to show worldwide backing of their case. It was started after a grim prospect of the prosecution of the 33 individuals charged was reported in Japanese media earlier this year. This time around, about 530 signatures were sent to the Fukushima District Public Prosecutor’s Office in several mails, along with valuable comments made by the signers of the petition.
On March 19, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs submitted approximately 67,000 signatures they collected from all over Japan to the Fukushima District Public Prosecutor’s Office, bringing the total number of signatures over 100,000. Earlier in February, over 40,000 signatures were presented to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, when more than 600 people gathered in front of their building pleading for a fair and strict investigation and the ultimate prosecution of the charged.
14,000 plaintiffs are waiting for the decision by the Prosecutors on whether to prosecute the charged and establish the criminal case against them.
Keiko Kokubun World Network for Saving Children from Radiation
Thank you! We have sent 596 signatures to the Fukushima and Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Offices
Thank you all for your support! We have collected 596 signatures from all over the world to support Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plainitiffs and sent to the Fukushima and Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Offices. We also have renewed the petition form. If you would like to lend your signature and have not done yet, please DO SIGN from the Change.org online petition form. We are setting up this petition to urge both offices to prosecute those responsible for the Fukushima Nucear Disaster and to support the victims who are facing the overwhelming challenges. Thank you for your support and spread the word!
World Network for Saving Children from Radiation Team
On December 27, Crewmembers from the USS Ronald Reagan filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in San Diego, California in an attempt to hold Japan accountable for any long-term damage they caused during “Operation Tomadachi,” the spring 2011 relief effort that sent sailors near the coast of Japan to assist in the days after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The sailers are asking the state-owned Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for $10 million in compensatory damages, as well as another $30 million in punitive damages for fraud, negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, public and private nuisance and defective design, Courthouse News Service reports.
The signatures for the petition to demand the accountability for those responsible for the nuclear disaster in Fukushima collected worldwide were submitted to the Fukushima District Prosecutor’s Office on November 15, 2012. On this day, over 13,000 people from various regions of Japan filed the second class action criminal complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. The petition is in support of their action and aims at exerting pressure for a thorough investigation that will lead to the prosecution of those charged. Ms. Muto, head of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiff group, reported to the meeting held afterwards that the petition was started only 10 days ago, and already 190 signatories from all over the world share the same feelings and conviction.
Keiko Kokubun World Network for Saving Children from Radiation
More than 10,000 Claimants Filed Criminal Charges against those Responsible for the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
More than 10,000 people from all over Japan are planning to file a case against TEPCO and the Japanese government with the Fukushima District Prosecutor's Office on November 15, 2012, reported Asahi Shinbun Newspaper. This follows the first group of 1,324 plaintiffs in Fukushima who filed criminal charges against them in June. The additional plaintiffs are also seeking to hold those who promoted nuclear power accountable for the damage and radiation exposure that has resulted from the disaster.
We began by holding a meeting in Iwaki on 16th March 2012 to form our group and then organised several briefing sessions in various locations. In every meeting, the participants described the terrible damage they had suffered from. Their accounts made us even more determined to make our grief and anger heard. Over 600 people wrote their statements for this legal action. These poignant statements tell of the pain and sorrow in losing their normal life, livelihood, home and ties with co-workers and the community, of their crushing fear of the effects of radiation on the health of their children and the hard reality of being separated from their families. I want those responsible for all this to read every one of these statements and to appreciate fully the indescribable agony we have had to go through.
TEPCO’s accident report submitted in June this year was full of excuses and buck-passing. Their report says that the earthquake and tsunami surpassed all previous predictions. However, it was revealed after the nuclear accident that many experts had warned against earthquakes and tsunamis on this scale, and TEPCO employees had discussed their possibility and consequences among themselves. The great tsunami we had was NOT unforeseen. Rather, the risk and the need for anti-tsunami measures were recognised, but, clearly, nothing had been done to prevent the foreseeable from happening.
It goes without saying that the responsibility of the state for promoting nuclear energy as a national policy while disregarding safety is very serious. The state neglected its duty to control power companies, and overlooked and rubber-stamped their operation without adequate safety measures.
The nuclear catastrophe was a result of the accumulation of irresponsible practices on the part of the state and the power company. Despite the gravity of their obligation, none of the official s and executives have been held accountable or have lost their positions. Even worse, they have the power to order the restart of the Ooi Nuclear Power Plant. We have been exposed to unnecessarily high doses of radiation because the MEXT officials intentionally concealed SPEEDI data (government simulation data on concentration and spread of radiation) from us and relaxed the radiation safety standard following the accident, and the medical doctors who were appointed as the Radiation Risk and Health Management Advisors for Fukushima Prefecture have repeatedly understated the risk of radiation. Their conduct in allowing increasingly large doses of radiation exposure must be condemned.
We decided to file a case because we must end such practices that totally lack any duty of care. Our aim is not only to press charges of criminal responsibility against them for what they did in the past, but also to challenge their current behaviour, which demonstrates a complete lack of remorse or culpability regarding these crimes.
The second lawsuit is due this November, and we are encouraging people from all over Japan to participate. It is after all not only Fukushima residents who became victims of this nuclear disaster. The contamination has spread throughout the country, and many people outside Fukushima, have been traumatised as well. I want all people who consider themselves victims to jointly press charges against those responsible. 9 offices have been set up in locations, including Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, in preparation for this nationwide legal action.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Bikini, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Life-destroying nuclear tragedies have proliferated in the world. Artificial nuclear materials are fundamentally incompatible with life. If we human beings keep using nuclear technology, we have to accept living on increasingly contaminated land. We must not leave any more burdens on our children. I regard this legal action as an atonement for our sins against the young and the unborn.
Extract of the article from the monthly magazine "World" August 2012