The first criminal trials relating to the Fukushima nuclear disaster have begun, six years since the triple reactor meltdown.
Former residents evacuated from the stricken zone are taking the energy company Tepco to court. Some lost everything they possessed,
many lost loved ones, and their case is based on the fact that Tepco never took into account the possible effects of a tsunami on the reactors at the site.
“We believe that there should have been thorough countermeasures put in place to protect against a tsunami, and there should have been a clear
understanding of that within Tokyo Electric too. I want to know how and why this was being neglected,” said the president of the Fukushima Nuclear
Disaster Plaintiffs Ruiko Muto.
More than 160,000 people had to be evacuated and 44 people lost their lives during the operation, although none officially died because of radiation.
Three defendants, the Tepco group president in charge of the plant and two vice-presidents, are accused of negligence. All three have pleaded not guilty.
The trial is not expected to finish before the end of the year.