4 TEPCO ex-execs appeal compensation order

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The plaintiffs of the lawsuit seeking damages related to the nuclear accident in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant celebrate their victory at The Tokyo District Court on July 13.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Wednesday appealed a district court ruling ordering them to pay a total of about ¥13 trillion in compensation over the 2011 triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, their lawyer said.

Former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and the three others had been sued by shareholders over the nuclear disaster. The shareholders, who had sought ¥22 trillion in compensation, also filed an appeal against the Tokyo District Court ruling.

The ruling said a long-term tsunami risk assessment released by a Japanese government body was reliable and that Katsumata, former TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu and former executive vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto neglected to take measures while recognizing the risk.

It concluded that the nuclear accident could have been prevented and ordered the four former executives to pay the shareholders a total of ¥13,321 billion.

The shareholders demanded that TEPCO seize the assets of the four, as the ruling can be executed provisionally.

In a separate criminal trial, in which Katsumata, Takekuro and Muto had been indicted for professional negligence resulting in death and injury over the nuclear accident, the same court has handed down a not-guilty verdict.

The court said that the reliability of the long-term tsunami risk assessment was questionable and that it was difficult for them to forecast the arrival of a huge tsunami.

The appeal trial was concluded last month. A verdict is scheduled to be given on Jan. 18 next year.