Kyodo: Criminal complaint to be filed against top gov’t and Tepco officials — Says failures left many exposed to radiation — Assemblyman: “Nonsense that nobody has been held criminally responsible for causing a major nuclear accident”

Published: March 15th, 2012 at 6:11 am ET
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Title: Fukushima citizens to accuse TEPCO, gov’t of negligence over crisis
Source: Kyodo
Date: March 15, 2012

Two civic groups in Fukushima Prefecture are planning to file a criminal complaint against senior officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and government bodies for professional negligence over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, group members said Wednesday. [...]

They will claim that the failure of the utility operating the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant and the government bodies to prevent the nuclear crisis left many people exposed to radiation and some inpatients dead while fleeing from nearby medical institutions.

The groups are also considering accusing those officials of violating a law on pollution causing health hazards by having spread massive amounts of radioactive substances following the crisis triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami last year. [...]

The citizens will also accuse the government’s nuclear safety bodies of not instructing TEPCO to implement steps to avoid a major accident, [Attorney Yukuo] Yasuda said. [...]

Kazuyoshi Sato, 58-year-old member of the Iwaki municipal assembly in charge of one of the groups

  • It’s “nonsense that nobody has been held criminally responsible for causing a major nuclear accident”
  • “I’d like to call on as many Fukushima people as possible, including those who are taking shelter in areas outside of the prefecture, to join our action”

The Plan

[The groups] will hold a rally Friday in the city of Iwaki with an eye to mobilizing about 1,000 Fukushima residents to lodge the complaint in mid-May with the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office against officials of the governmental Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency as well as TEPCO

Read the report here

Published: March 15th, 2012 at 6:11 am ET
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43 comments

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43 comments to Kyodo: Criminal complaint to be filed against top gov’t and Tepco officials — Says failures left many exposed to radiation — Assemblyman: “Nonsense that nobody has been held criminally responsible for causing a major nuclear accident”

  • It's about time! Why did it take so long to do this, and why aren't other countries following suit?


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    • Kevin Kevin

      Well, i would think that after such a devastating experience and so much loss of human life and destruction, suing the most powerful forces on earth behind the most powerful killing machine on earth would seem a little daunting.

      I am sure many people are just focused on rebuidling their lifes and relocating. Once they got some basics like shelter and food and security, even then taking on these behemoths would seem like a futile undertaking especially when you consider the traditions and culture of Japan.


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    • Had to get them to admit to the thins that transpired !


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  • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

    They'll try to stonewall these accusations. But again, that'll simply add to a long list of incompetent steps, on the part of TEPCO and the Japanese government. As time progresses, we'll see more and more of the horrors of their criminal actions. These will be added to the other rocks that the people will be piling upon the graves of these criminals. The evidence will become incontrovertible and the actions (or lack thereof) of these criminals will become indefensible…


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  • They still have no good answer, and will keep kicking the can as best they can.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    It's good that this is happening.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Justice…a goddess once..
    In normal times..one of the flowers of civilization.
    In the case of Japan..the people will need justice…it will take the edge off the sorrows to come…..just ever so slightly.
    They will need to know that those capable of such cruelty… paid the price.
    Their children and grandchildren will want to hear…that this generation gave it all we had to make this happen.


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    • Buffalojam

      Well said Heart. A thorough trial exploring all the issues can provide quite a learning experience. If justice should prevail it may not only take the edge off sorrows to come but, also, build the needed hope which stems from the knowledge that criminal negligence from government and business leaders will not be tolerated and can not be gotten away with. A tall order, I know, but a good start.


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    • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

      Heart: +1. IF there are any grandchildren for the children of Fukushima!


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    • aigeezer aigeezer

      "justice… will take the edge off the sorrows to come…..just ever so slightly". I agree, Heart, but it's not my main priority. Here's why.

      Shutting the industry down should have the best "big picure" payoff for society, I think. Both shutdown and justice are desirable. Unfortunately the nuke perps may be the only ones who know how to shut these things down, not just Fukushima but all the other disasters-in-waiting. It will take much more than putting people in jail to remove the risks to society. The government/industry nuke enablers have us over the proverbial barrel.

      Furthermore, when/if we extricate ourselves from nuke, the oil/coal/gas "big anything" interests will be eager to fill any void. There is an endemic structural problem that will keep putting us back into these traps, if the past is any guide.

      "You made your rulers mighty, gave them guards, So now you groan 'neath slavery's heavy rod." – Solon — (c.638 BC-558 BC) Athenian statesman

      Even some msm outlets are now beginning to acknowledge that things are serious. Here's a rant against the military/industrial complex from an unlikely source (CNN, who advertise heavily for big energy interests and who beat the war drums every single day):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L78c8sLQqG4

      Humanity has been in this predicament often, but the stakes have never been so high. I don't have a solution to offer, but I can imagine society offering a plea bargain along the lines of "we'll not prosecute your atrocities of the past if you dismantle the machinery with which you will commit atrocities in future". Tough call!

      Anyway, I certainly "get" your justice meme, but my focus is:

      SHUT THEM ALL DOWN


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      • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

        @aigeezer: "I don't have a solution to offer…" Actually, such insights and truth as you've posted, are the only prerequisite to bringing them to their senses. Such is the light that will see us all through these dark times…


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      • Buffalojam

        Aigeezer – Interesting comment about the societal plea offer in order to gain the required expertise for shutdown of the industry. I'm thinking a plea deal may not be necessary. I have no way of knowing this but, I suspect that more than a few nuclear engineers "got religion" after witnessing the greedy, careless, and corrupt decision making which went into the development of the industry. Perhaps, rather than risk being lumped into this kind of group, they have remained quiet, collected their paychecks, and waited for the right time to help pull the plug. I bet guys like Arnie could put together some solid crews to get things rolling. A few successful prosecutions would undoubtedly help.


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        • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

          @Buffalojam: dead-on comments! What's also important is the development of economic alternatives for these engineers. What most don't know, is the same principles in engineering – by-in-large – also apply to renewables! It's really about a shift in perceptions. If we're to get them to walk away from those control panels, we'll need to offer an alternative path to a paycheck. Look back to the days when the Soviet Union disbanded and fallowed so many engineers. These unemployed woman and men simply walked across to street to international bidders. We all know it's about the cash. Support any-and-every effort that gives these engineers alternatives and they'll leave the nuclear power industry in a blink!


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          • aigeezer aigeezer

            Buffalojam and AFTERSHOCK. I like those concepts. My pessimistic tone came from the absence of any such people so far – in the public eye at least – but yes, once the tide turns, as it were, then such people would show up in sufficient numbers.

            Somewhere in the process, the creaky machinery of "justice" would do its thing. Lines would be drawn in some arbitrary human way and a group of people somewhere between "all of us" and "just him" would be chosen for punishment. Some of us would applaud the choices and some of us would complain that they didn't get it right. However, you are absolutely right that, with any luck, the spectre of nuke power will end in the way you suggest.

            The huge old British coal industry – the very heart of the industrial revolution – collapsed that way, almost overnight.

            I like your prediction/solution. I hope you are right. The "justice" part – meh – it will be pretty arbitrary, and "justice delayed is justice denied". It's way too late for a lot of people, places and things.

            Sorry, I keep drifting back into the sour side of it. Your posts are good news and should lift all our spirits a bit.


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            • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

              I knew a fellow in the typewriter business ..when computers became popular…his business failed.
              That was in the old days..when people went out and found other employment…
              Because this set of people will lose their jobs..should not be used as a reason for the continuing use of nuclear power.
              The "mine closes"..time to find other work.


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  • markww markww

    JAPAN you know deep in your hearts what has happened your Government and TEPCO hid facts LIED did not ever answer questions of exposures and you kow you were killing your people we have seen it over and over when there were meetings and releases of documents to people. YOU even hid the information from your people and all countries in the world JAIL IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH for you PRISON and forced volunteer work at Fukushima reactors as a work crew


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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    TEPCO managers did their best to protect shareholder value, and to preserve company capital. As they always do. Government officials did their best to protect TEPCO and their nuclear industry clients. As they always do. Public health and safety always takes a back seat in this dynamic. US utilities and the NRC act exactly the same way. It has become painfully clear that nuke plants must be shutdown and decommissioned now, in the USA and all over the world. No nukes!


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    • Buffalojam

      Philip – I don't doubt that these were the predominant motives for the actions that Tepco Managers and Goverment officials took following the Fuku disaster. We still need to hear them say it, under oath, at trial. We also need to hear what their understanding was regarding their responsibility for protecting public safety and the future of their country. If a jury decides they acted negligently they can determine an appropriate punishment. From the lessons learned, we can decide what remedial action we all can take, worldwide, on all nuclear issues.


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  • kintaman kintaman

    Not only must those responsible for the negligence which caused this accident but also those who have covered up, downplayed and deceived about it should be prosecuted to the FULL extent.

    As many already know my stance is that those responsible for the accident and subsequent deceptions (Japanese government, TEPCO, IAEA, Japanese media, nuclear "experts) should be put on site to do manual clean up of Fukushima Daiichi and all other areas with contamination. Why should they be spared this task when they are responsible? Why should innocent people be put at risk to do this work? Put the guilty parties there to do all the work they can and include their families.


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  • bleep_hits_blades

    This is an encouraging sign. I'd like to see this awareness spread to other countries. There've been so many crimes in so many of the responses of the Japanese & other govts to this GREAT CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY that is the Fuku. nuclear disaster.

    One thing I've realized, when going to the enenews site & seeing, every day, a problem with a plant in Calif., trouble with reactors everywhere – at first I thought, wow, is it karma or some mysterious zeitgeist or what, that these things are happening all at once here… then I realized (naive little me) that ALL ALONG these nuclear mishaps, leaks, cover-ups etc. have been occurring. But there has been no ENENEWS.COM to gather up this info & tell the world about it!

    Deliberately suppressing reports of dangerous nuke plant conditions… burying toxic nuke waste in shallow trenches… dumping barrels of nuke waste into the oceans or piping the raw waste into the oceans … having release after release of toxic nuclear gases from plants – BY ROUTINE POLICY & PRACTICE – and by that same routine policy & practice NOT telling the people at risk from these practices about them…CRIMINALLY altering official reports of dangerous rusted/corroded equipment… what a long list of CRIMINAL MAL/MIS-FEASANCE could(& should)compiled.

    Now pray God or the positive powers of the Universe or whatever fucking ever – that this effort(finally!) on the part of the criminally victimized Japanese will snowball & spread & a movement will begin to BRING THESE NUCLEAR-MAFIA CRIMINALS (& their pals/enablers in corrupt governments) TO JUSTICE!

    One video someone posted here about the kids of Fuk. – many touching scenes of concerned mothers, of happy oblivious playing children… one that will stay with me forever, the camera showed this boy of maybe 8 or 9 at school giving this open frank BEAUTIFUL smile right at the camera… I think of him frequently – that beautiful, trusting boy, smiling at someone he loved -


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    • Mack Mack

      Sen. Boxer said the NRC is "flying out a special investigation team to conduct more intensive evaluation" of the San Onfore Nuclear Power Plant in California.

      Nine MILLION people live within 50 miles of that plant.

      I have a question.

      How long has she been on this committee?

      IF you were a senator, would you be writing letters to the NRC and ASKING them to do something or would you be compelling them to do something to protect the lives and health of people?

      Why all of this tiptoeing through egg shells?

      This is the one issue where tough enforcement needs to be ensured.


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        • What-About-The-Kids

          Did my ears hear Jeff Sessions correctly as he scolded the President during this meeting for not moving faster on getting MORE nuclear power plants built, despite the ongoing catastrophic events at Fuku??? He actually says we need to build more nuclear power plants "for the environment"!!!!!??? If I were his constituent, I'd get on the phone asap and let him know what a farce that idea is…Geez, Louise!

          After the worse industrial disaster the world has ever known, and despite runaway coriums and teetering, unstable, intermittently-burning spent fuel pools (#4), and EXPLODING #3 MOX-filled reactor and spent fuel pool delivering its death across the planet, he actually believes (in earnest!) that we need to hurry up and build more NPPs BEFORE we've had a chance to learn any real lessons from the Fuku nightmare??? Hey, what's the hurry there, Senator? Hold your horses!

          Nuclear Theatre of the Absurd indeed, as JoyB so nicely put it!

          Well, no two bones about it: it's pretty easy to guess where Mr. Session's financial support must come from…and it ain't the Green Party.


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      • What-About-The-Kids

        Mack, wait a minute! Did you keep listening? You guys gotta check out!

        Senator Boxer actually went on to SCOLD the NRC commissioners like little children after they tried to play their same ol', same ol' nuclear bullying, demeaning tactics, ridiculing David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists and his report detailing the lessons learned from Fuku!!! LOL

        She actually pointed her finger at them, told them that David had superb credentials and compared them with ANY of the NRC commissioners credentials, so they had no leg to stand on in their weak attempts to downplay (yet again) the TRUTH!

        And then she went on to say she was compelled then to have to once again invite Mr. Lochbaum to appear before the committee in the future to defend his findings.

        Way to GO, Senator Boxer! You have reaffirmed my respect in your integrity and fierce desire to protect your constituents and willingness to go against the tide of deep entrenched interests. Kudos!!!

        Shame on the NRC for trying the worn out, silly tactics of the old guard nuclear industry in order to hide the truth about the Ecoside that nuclear power threatens to every man, woman and child on this planet.

        Senator Boxer, you made my day! :-)


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  • bleep_hits_blades

    And end, by the gods, to TO BIG TO FAIL… and to TO BIG TO PROSECUTE!


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  • I think criminal complaints should be filed against someone else too:

    Mar-14-2012 16:08
    Victims of Israeli Attacks in Gaza Contaminated with Uranium

    Tim King Salem-News.com
    Tests show strikingly similar results to Fallujah's uranium victims.
    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march142012/gaza-uranium-tk.php


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  • Mack Mack

    Admin, maybe could you have the ticker going across the screen when there's something to bring attention to like right now there's the NRC Nuclear Safety Reform hearings:

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/NRC-Commissioners-Testify-on-Nuclear-Safety-Reforms/10737429037-1/


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Day 2…Barbara Boxer….always swaying the conversation…
    She told.."Jaczko..you've done good work…work on San Onofre… great work..the whole hearing thanks him…etc….
    Ah…here we go…


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  • RichardPerry

    It is about time that charges will be laid, but they should add the members of IAEA and NRC that have misinformed the public and country officials in the world as to the actual risks of nuclear power plants. They should also charge the EPA and government leaders for withholding the information from radiation meters including every country that has, especially in Japan, Canada and USA. Also the large news out lets that new the truth but did nothing because they are protecting their parent companies should be charged. This is the only way this industry can be stopped from lying and misleading.


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