TOKYO, Sept 5 The operator of the destroyed
Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Friday it won't appeal
against a court ruling that it was responsible for the suicide
of a woman who became depressed after the 2011 disaster, adding
it would pay $465,400 in compensation.
Last week's surprise ruling - and Tepco's decision not to
appeal against it - could set a precedent for more claims for
compensation in connection with the triple nuclear meltdown at
the Fukushima Daiichi power plant north of Tokyo, which forced
more than 150,000 people from their homes. About a third of them
are still in temporary housing.
"We are not going to appeal the decision and we will pay
compensation in line with what was ordered in court," said
Nobuyuki Kawashima, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
, the operator of the wrecked plant.
The lawsuit by Mikio Watanabe blamed the operator of the
plant for the July 2011 death of his wife, Hamako, 58, who
doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire after falling
The couple was forced to flee their home in the town of
Yamakiya, 50 km (30 miles) away, after the plant was hit by an
earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, spewing radiation into the
The court ruling accepted Watanabe's contention that the
nuclear disaster contributed to his wife's suicide.
Neither Watanabe nor the lawyer who represented him in court
was immediately available for comment.
The decision is the latest blow for the utility, which was
bailed out with taxpayer funds in 2012 and had already expected
to spend more than $48 billion in compensation for the disaster
at its plant, on top of tens of billions or more in cleanup and
On Aug. 26, the district court in Fukushima ordered Tokyo
Electric to pay 49 million yen ($465,400) in compensation to
Watanabe, who had sought about 91 million yen in damages.
The nationalised utility has settled a number of
suicide-related claims through a government dispute-resolution
system, but it has declined to say how many or give details of
how much it has paid.
($1 = 105.28 yen)
(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Nick Macfie)