June 13, 2022
The Supreme Court will render its decision on June 17 in four class-action lawsuits seeking to hold the government legally liable for causing the nuclear accident. On May 31, a total of about 50 plaintiffs and lawyers gathered at the Diet Members’ Building. On May 31, a total of about 50 plaintiffs and lawyers gathered at the Diet Members’ Building and visited more than 150 Diet members in separate groups, handing them letters of request for relief from the damage caused by the nuclear power plant accident.
Victory in the case is assured. We walked around the Diet Members’ Building with the people who have suffered from the nuclear accident for 11 years. （We will surely win.)
We will win.
We will surely win at the Supreme Court. We will surely win, and when we do, we will need the help of all the members of the Diet!
Takashi Nakajima, leader of the plaintiffs in the Ikigyo lawsuit, spoke strongly to the secretary of a ruling party Diet member and handed him a letter of request that he had prepared.
The letter of request. The government has taken the position that it is socially responsible for the nuclear power plant accident, without legal responsibility. If the Supreme Court of Japan recognizes the legal responsibility of the government, the government will be required to reevaluate its past stance and take measures in accordance with its legal responsibility. We are confident that the Supreme Court will issue a ruling in our case, and we request the following 1Please attend the debriefing meeting after the Supreme Court decision and encourage the plaintiffs. 2. The National Liaison Group for Nuclear Power Plant Victims' Litigation is compiling joint demands and working to realize them. We look forward to your cooperation.
Plaintiffs Gathered from Across Japan
Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Across the street from the Diet is the Prime Minister’s official residence and the Diet Members’ Hall, which is used by members of the Diet from both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. Two high-rise buildings will be built for members of the House of Representatives and one for the House of Councillors. On May 31, just before the Supreme Court ruling, the plaintiffs in the nuclear accident lawsuit spent the day walking around the Diet members’ building.
The group that made the request was the National Liaison Group for Nuclear Power Plant Victims’ Lawsuits. In addition to the Ikigyo lawsuit, plaintiffs and defense lawyers who have filed lawsuits in various parts of Japan have joined the group. On this day, in addition to the four cases (Ikigyo, Gunma, Chiba, Ehime) for which judgments will be handed down on the 17th, plaintiffs from Kanagawa, Kyushu, Tokyo, Aichi/Gifu, and Iwaki also participated. Give us back our hometown! The plaintiffs from the Tsushima lawsuit also participated in the meeting. Including the lawyers, a total of more than 50 people made up the “large request group.
On the morning of the day of the meeting, the conference room prepared as the meeting place was in a state of flux with all the preparations. Everyone, please listen carefully! Listen up! Gentaro Managi, attorney at law for the Ikigyo Litigation Defense Group, who was in charge of the entire request activity, shouted loudly, “Please listen carefully!
The group was divided into 15 groups and was to visit more than 150 Diet members in a single day. Visiting the rooms of Diet members is a complicated process. In addition to making an appointment in advance, the participants had to go through a baggage check at the entrance to the Diet members’ chambers and hand in a piece of paper at the reception desk explaining the reason for their visit. Some of the plaintiffs who had gathered at the Diet members’ chambers said that this was their first visit to the building. Mr. Managi and Mr. Takashi Hattori, Deputy Secretary General of the plaintiffs’ group for the Ikigyo lawsuit, explained the procedure for the day.
They explained the procedure for the day: “All right, everyone,” they said. The head of each group has the list of places to visit. Many of the people in each group will be meeting for the first time. Please introduce yourselves before you leave.
I know the council members and secretaries are busy. Some secretaries may say yes, yes, yes, and try to turn you away after a minute or so. Please think of it as a game from there. ‘Don’t you need to take notes?’ and persist for three or five minutes.
Then, as soon as the groups have finished their preparations, please depart!
Dedicatedly Going Around to Council Members
The three members of Team 7 that accompanied the author were Takashi Nakajima, leader of the plaintiffs in the Ikigyo lawsuit (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture), a man who is also a plaintiff in the Ikigyo lawsuit (Date City), and Makoto Seo of the Chiba lawsuit.
Let’s see, we’ll start with the fourth floor,” said Nakajima, looking over a list of places to visit. Nakajima looked over the list of places to visit. Each group is supposed to visit a dozen or so members of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives has 465 members. The House of Councillors has 245 members (including three vacancies). Naturally, it is not possible to visit all of them. In addition to the executives of each political party, the list was narrowed down to those members who belong to committees related to the nuclear power plant issue. The targets were the Special Committee on Investigation of Nuclear Power Issues, the Special Committee on Reconstruction following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the Budget Committee.
The Diet members’ private rooms are lined up in the Diet Members’ Building like university laboratories. When I ring the intercom and say, “Sorry, please come in,” the legislator’s secretary opens the door. There, I inform them of the purpose of my visit and tell them that I would like to see the council member himself if possible. In reality, the council member himself was rarely in the room, and his secretary would often receive the request form on his behalf. Some secretaries of ruling party lawmakers refused to receive the documents, saying, “I think this will be difficult,” upon hearing the words “lawsuit over the nuclear power plant accident.
The six Diet members’ rooms we visited in the morning were all unresponsive. In some cases, there were no secretaries, and they simply dropped the documents in the mailboxes. I guess they don’t listen to us after all. ……
However, the steady footwork gradually yielded results in the afternoon.
In the room of one ruling party lawmaker, the secretary who greeted him showed great interest in Nakajima’s story, and they talked for about 20 minutes.
The secretary said, “There is a part of the Diet members that as long as the trial is still going on, they cannot bypass it. In that sense, I think the Supreme Court decision is a great opportunity.”
Nakajima: “Thank you very much. We at the All-United Nations are confident that we will win the case. We are confident that we will win the case, and we are making a joint demand as something we will seek after the ruling. We would like to ask for the help of the members of the Diet in this regard, as it will require legislation.
The secretary said, “Understood. I will let him know. There are members of the ruling party who have various ideas about nuclear power, but I believe that it is the role of politics to help those in need.
In the room of a former cabinet member, while he was talking persistently with his secretary, the Diet member himself came out from the back of the room.
Nakajima: “Whoa, well, well! Actually, there is a Supreme Court ruling on the 17th.”
Councilor “I see. I understand. I’m sorry. I don’t have time right now, but …… (to the secretary) make sure you listen to it properly!
Of the dozen or so Diet members that Team 7 visited, only one member of the opposition party took the time to meet directly with the Diet member himself.
What is the outcome of the request?
3:00 pm. After completing their requests, all 15 groups returned to the conference room for a debriefing session. Each group reported the results of the day and their impressions.
One person expressed his frustration, saying, “The secretary of Senator ●● refused to even meet with me!” One person expressed his frustration.
‘Many of the secretaries seemed to back away a bit when we started talking to them. ……
They didn’t even know that the verdict was on the 17th. It was very disappointing.”
It was a debriefing session that showed that all the groups, though struggling, ran around trying to appeal to the legislators on the issue of the nuclear power plant accident.
Those who stood and tried to listen were generally not interested in hearing what we had to say. But they let me in when there were about four council members, and I was allowed to talk in the parlor.”
‘Where I could talk, I expressed my thoughts. The Congressman himself came out to see me!”
Finally, Gentaro Managi, attorney for the Ikigyo lawsuit, said, “The senator’s request is not something that can be finished in a day. We have to continue the request even after the ruling. We need to continue the request two or three times from now on,” he summed up the day’s activities.
Joint Demand” by Plaintiffs’ Groups Nationwide
On May 16, about two weeks before the action, the National Liaison Committee of Plaintiffs in Lawsuits Against Nuclear Power Plant Victims created a “Joint Demand” of 22 organizations.
The "Joint Demand for Relief of Victims of the Nuclear Power Plant Accident 1. The government and TEPCO must accept and deeply reflect on their negligent safety measures, which were declared illegal by the Supreme Court decision. Based on this self-reflection, the government and TEPCO must sincerely apologize to all victims, regardless of whether they are inside or outside Fukushima Prefecture, inside or outside the evacuation zone, or have chosen to live in, evacuate from, or return to their homes.
The demand goes on to nine items. The demands include: “adequate compensation for the actual damage,” “free health checkups and medical care based on the dangers of radiation exposure,” “investigation and disclosure of the actual state of soil contamination,” and “no discharge of contaminated water into the ocean without the public’s understanding.
The term “victims of the nuclear power plant accident” is used in a single sentence, but each person’s damage and situation are different. In some lawsuits, most of the plaintiffs remain in Fukushima Prefecture, while in other lawsuits, evacuees play a central role. The plaintiffs are in different positions, and they have discussed and developed a joint demand, according to the people involved.
The court decision will not walk away and change politics and society on its own. We have no choice but to take action ourselves. The plaintiffs from all over Japan are continuing their efforts.