Fukushima farming lobby to reject TEPCO nuke accident damages offer

12 November 2016

A Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) group in Fukushima Prefecture negotiating with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for damages associated with the 2011 nuclear accident endorsed a written opinion on Nov. 11 calling for a review of a compensation plan offered by the central government and TEPCO. The group, comprising five JA chapters and other parties in Fukushima, unanimously agreed at an extraordinary general meeting in Fukushima city to demand reexamination of the plan on grounds it does not guarantee compensation for losses in the agricultural and forestry sector in and after 2019.

The meeting was held behind closed doors except for the outset. Nobuo Ohashi, chairman of the group and head of an association of the five JA chapters, told a press conference after the meeting that standards for damages in and after January 2019 are “ambiguous,” saying the group “cannot dispel anxiety over possible termination (of compensation).” He stressed the need to continue damages remedy matching realities as long as harmful rumors remain, saying effects of such rumors persist in the prefecture and it will take a considerably long time to resume farming in areas evacuated after the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The damages plan calls for lump-sum compensatory payments of two years’ worth from January 2017 to December 2018. For January 2019 and thereafter, it envisions addressing individual claims for losses that have “considerable causal relationship” with the nuclear accident.

(Translated by Kyodo News)