Tokyo court acquits former Tepco executives once again in connection with Fukushima nuclear disaster

The Tokyo Supreme Court upheld the innocence of three former executives of the company that operates the Fukushima nuclear power plant and once again cleared them of professional negligence related to the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The verdict was announced Wednesday, following an appeal hearing at the Tokyo High Court, upholding an innocence ruling by a lower court that noted that a tsunami of this magnitude was unpredictable.

The verdict cleared the defendants of professional negligence that resulted in death and injury. Kyodo News said the agency.

The appeal sought to sentence three former Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) executives to five years in prison on charges of negligence, including former President Tsunehisa Katsumata (82) and former executives Sakae Muto (72) and Ichiro Takekuro (76). .

The administrators were accused of not being able to predict the massive tsunami that hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, following the 9-magnitude earthquake, and failing to take measures that could save the plant.

Prosecutors argued that Tepco could have averted the disaster had the facility had adequate security measures in place prior to the tsunami.

Managers repeatedly argued that it was impossible to predict the tsunami and they were “not guilty”.

This was the only criminal case initiated after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

The large numbers of Fukushima residents and their supporters who were present for the verdict or protesting out of court were disappointed and enraged by the acquittals.

Before the trial, the activists gathered at the Tokyo high court and said, “They were all found not guilty. Unfair decision.”

The disaster killed 44 people, including hospitalized patients, in Fukushima prefecture, which had to be hastily evacuated after the nuclear disaster.

Tens of thousands of people lost their homes, jobs and connections to their towns as three of the facility’s reactors melted, releasing enormous amounts of radiation into the sea and the surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, water from the destroyed Fukushima plant remains a cause for concern after Japan announced it would release treated wastewater into the sea “around this spring or summer.”

Pacific Island countries have urged Japan to delay the release of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant for fear it could contaminate its fishing grounds.

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