As reported by Jonathon Soble in the New York Times, a review panel of private citzens has -- for the second time -- overruled prosecutors and demanded that three top executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) be charged in relation to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe that began on 3/11/11.
This second review panel ruling is binding, meaning prosecutors must bring charges.
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs Group, representing 15,000 individuals, including nuclear evacuees, has long sought the prosecution.
The binding decision by the review panel requires that prosecutors bring charges of "professional negligence resulting in death."
As reported by the 2015 World Nuclear Industry Status Report (see bottom of page 84), 3,200 individual nuclear evacuees -- the majority from Fukushima Prefecture -- have died since the nuclear catastrophe began. This includes the elderly or infirm, who have succumbed to illnesses during their long exile from their radioactive homes, as well as suicides.
The article reports:
To convict the Tokyo Electric Power executives, prosecutors would have to prove that their failure to predict the massive tsunami that struck Fukushima’s coast in March 2011 and to equip the power plant with sufficient protections against it constituted an act of criminal oversight.
However, as reported by the mainstream Japanese press, evidence has emerged that Tepco had clear warnings that such a massive tsunami was possible at the Fukushima Daiichi site, and yet the company, and its executive decision makers, chose not to act, or else dragged their feet for years.
In fact, the 2012 Japanese Parliament independent investigation on the nuclear catastrophe documented that Tepco and other nuclear power industry officials had inappropriately influenced tsunami protection decision making, leaving plants like Fukushima Daiichi vulnerable. The investigation concluded that collusion between regulators, industry, and government officials was the root cause of the catastrophe, the reason why the reactors were so vulnerable to the natural disasters that wrecked them.