On Monday afternoon, a criminal complaint was filed by 1,300 people, mostly residents from Fukushima Prefecture, against Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), and 32 other executives from the utility company that operates the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plaintiffs state that the 33 executives should be held responsible for causing last year’s nuclear disaster and for their exposure to radiation.
Filed with the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office, the written complaint specifies Masataka Shimizu, the former president of TEPCO, and Haruki Madarame, the chief of the Nuclear Safety Commission. They are accused of neglecting to prepare any countermeasures for the even of an earthquake or tsunami, despite being warned repeatedly that the Fukushima Daiichi facility was in a state of high risk. Their second claims was that TEPCO not only failed, but declined to quickly warn people about the spread of radiation during the meltdown crisis, and thus delayed evacuation attempts and increased their chances of radiation exposure.
On Friday of last week, Masataka Shimizu took his turn before the parliamentary panel investigating the Fukushima disaster and how deep the mismanagement went. Those being investigated by the panel include former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Tsunehisa Katsumata, and other TEPCO executives. Many tried to claim that there was no way to predict how much damage would have been sustained by the tsunami, however these claims haven’t gotten them very far, as it has been widely revealed that there were numerous warnings given to TEPCO, and they were clearly ignored by those in charge at the time.