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TEPCO Former Executives to Face Prosecution for Fukushima Meltdown

© AP Photo / Koji Sasahara, PoolA staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)
A staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) - Sputnik International
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Japan’s prosecution committee will sue for professional negligence leading to death and injury in March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster against three former Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) senior executives on Friday, national media reported.

TOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan’s prosecution committee will file a suit against three former Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) senior executives on Friday for professional negligence leading to death and injury in the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, national media reported.

The committee voted in favor of prosecution last July, siding with residents who filed an appeal to reconsider an earlier Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office ruling that the scale of the earthquake and tsunami was unforeseeable.

Workers at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station work among underground water storage pools on 17 April 2013. - Sputnik International
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Over 14,000 Japanese citizens filed a lawsuit against dozens of TEPCO officials after the natural disaster, accusing them of ignoring research and not taking the necessary steps to prevent the catastrophe.

According to the public panel’s decision cited by Japans’ national broadcaster NHK, three of TEPCO’s former senior executives – Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, chairman at the time of the disaster, and then-vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro, 69, and Sakae Muto, 65 – will face prosecution for professional negligence leading to death and injury.

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This marks the first time senior executives of the Fukushima nuclear plant’s operators will be put on trial to determine the degree of guilt for failing to prevent the accident.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident that killed over 15,000 is considered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

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