A trial in which three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) were forcibly prosecuted by a resolution of the Public Prosecutors Examination Council for failing to prevent the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
This is a detailed record of the second trial.
The second trial of TEPCO’s forced prosecution began, with the former management once again claiming innocence.
The second trial of the three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), who were forcibly prosecuted over the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and acquitted in the first trial, began, with the former executives once again claiming their innocence.
Tsunehisa Katsumata, 81, former chairman of TEPCO, Ichiro Takekuro, 75, former vice president of TEPCO, and Sakae Mutoh, 71, former vice president of TEPCO, were indicted for involuntary manslaughter by a resolution of the Public Prosecutors Examination Council for causing the deaths of 44 people, including hospitalized patients in Fukushima Prefecture, during the evacuation process from the nuclear power plant accident.
The Tokyo District Court in the first trial acquitted all three defendants in September 2019, saying that there was no way they could have foreseen the huge tsunami.
The second trial began at the Tokyo High Court on April 2, 2021, and the designated lawyer stated that the first trial decision was wrong because it forcibly denied the reliability of the “long-term assessment,” which is the basic premise of the national government’s view on tsunamis, and argued that the three had a duty to build a seawall and take measures to prevent flooding of buildings.
On the other hand, the lawyer for the former management team reiterated their not guilty plea, saying, “The measures to prevent a huge tsunami were massive and took a long time, and even if they had started before the nuclear accident, they would not have been ready in time.
The next hearing will be held in February 2022, and it will be decided whether or not the judge will conduct an on-site inspection of the plant, as requested by the designated lawyer.
A representative of the victims and their families said, “The focus is on whether the court will conduct an on-site inspection of the plant.
Yuichi Kaito, a lawyer who represented the victims and their families at the hearing, held a press conference and said, “The biggest focus of the second trial is whether the court will conduct an on-site inspection of the plant. Although the court did not make a decision today, I hope that this is an indication of the court’s attitude that it wants to carefully consider the issue. If they do, I think it will increase the possibility that the not guilty verdict of the first trial will be reviewed.
Survivors: “Not guilty is impossible
The father of Hisao Sato, 62, of Fukushima Prefecture, was unable to evacuate from Futaba Hospital in Okuma Town, where he had been hospitalized, after the nuclear accident, and remained there with medical staff and died three days later.
Regarding the fact that the three former executives of TEPCO have once again claimed their innocence, Mr. Sato said, “I couldn’t go and pick up the people who were left behind even if I wanted to because the nuclear power plant exploded. There were tears around the eyes of his father, and I believe he suffered and died. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is absolutely responsible, and there is no way they are innocent.