Japan court: Govt, utility accountable in Fukushima accident; ordered to pay $4.5M

TOKYO (AP) – A Japanese court has ordered the government and the Fukushima nuclear plant operator to pay 500 million yen ($4.5 million) to thousands of former residents who demanded damages for their livelihoods lost in the 2011 nuclear crisis.

The Fukushima District Court on Tuesday said the government had failed to order Tokyo Electric Power Co. to improve safety measures despite knowing as early as 2002 of a risk of a massive tsunami in the region.

The 3,800 plaintiffs who sued in 2015 are the largest group among about 30 similar lawsuits involving 12,000 people pending across the country.

It was the second verdict that held the government accountable in the Fukushima meltdowns, following a decision in March by the Maebashi district court.

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