via CNIC.jp / March 31, 2015 /

TEPCO-ceoThe Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (CCFN) filed a criminal accusation in June 2012 inquiring into the responsibility for the nuclear accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, but the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office dropped the case in September 2013, and the complainants therefore petitioned the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution. In July 2014, the Tokyo Fifth Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution concluded that three former TEPCO officials (pictured), former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, former vice-president Sakae Muto, and former vice-president Ichiro Takekuro, could be prosecuted. But they recognized that it was an injustice that former director Akio Komori was exempted from prosecution. The prosecutor therefore decided to handle the case through a re-investigation. As a result, the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office reopened the investigation, but on January 22, 2014, dropped charges against all of the defendants once again.

The Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office explained that the reasons why the case was dropped were that, in 2008, TEPCO had run test calculations on the assumption of a tsunami of the same scale and height as that which occurred after the Great East Japan earthquake, but the actual depth of inundation in the vicinity of the reactor buildings was several times that which resulted from their calculations. Further, it was said to be hard to acknowledge conditions that would necessarily lead to recognition prior to the accident of the danger of major equipment being inundated at the plant as a result of the occurrence of a tsunami on this scale. The reason the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution had taken predictability seriously was because there was sufficient evidence to show that it had indeed been predicted, and that the results had possibly been fudged.

With the case being dropped by the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office, it will be put before the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution a second time. If it is judged again to be worthy of prosecution, a lawyer appointed by the public prosecutor will forcibly institute legal proceedings.

The CCFN filed a second criminal complaint with the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office on January 13 against nine people, including former members of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and TEPCO workers. It is based on facts newly revealed at a hearing held by the government’s Nuclear Accident Investigation Committee on the Fukushima disaster.

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Source: Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center

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