It seems that three years after the nuclear disaster that crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, the operator’s problems are far from over. While the problem of decontamination is ongoing, albeit slowly, the next battle is set to come as shareholders in the firm are looking at filing lawsuits to determine the real cause of the incident.
The shareholders are planning to request from the Cabinet Secretariat copies of the interviews conducted, which many already assume would be denied. Such denial would force the shareholders to no other recourse but to file legal action against the government so it would release interview records of 772 people for their own analysis. Not only that, they also plan to file a separate legal action against TEPCO to see if executives and managers of the company played a hand in the disaster and the problems resulting from the meltdown.
In May 2011, the government set up an investigation panel called the Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations to determine the cause of the accident. In the course of the investigations, the government was able to compile interviews of individuals and employees of TEPCO on the condition that they would not be publicly revealed. The lawyer of the shareholders, Yuichi Kaido, said his clients are concerned as reports of leadership collapse circled the media based on interviews with then-plant manager Masao Yoshida. Yoshida died of esophageal cancer last year but his interview, which media was able to get a copy of, showed damaging evidence against TEPCO. “Records of interviews not only with Yoshida, but also other people concerned, are indispensable to clarify the cause of the accident and TEPCO’s responsibility,” said Kaido. He further added that it is the government’s responsibility to decide on the rules for disclosure. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on other hand said that the government is willing to release copies of the interviews. “If the government obtains agreements for disclosure (from those interviewed), it will disclose the records within necessary limits based on the stipulations of the information disclosure law,” he remarked.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]