August 9, 2013
Japanese prosecutors are unlikely to press charges against former
prime minister Naoto Kan, as well as utility executives, over their
handling of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, dealing a blow to
citizens affected by the accident.
Prosecutors had questioned Kan, who was prime minister at the time of
the accident, as well as former TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu, the
Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.
The complaints were filed by citizens affected by the disaster, the paper said.
The Fukushima crisis, triggered by a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake
and ensuing tsunami that struck off the northeast coast of Japan on
March 11, 2011, represents the world’s worst atomic disaster since the
Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986.
Some 500,000 people who lived inside the 30 km radius of the
Fukushima nuclear facility were instructed to evacuate from the region.
Today, over two years since that horrific accident, TEPCO has failed
in its efforts to halt the flow of radioactive water spilling into the
Pacific Ocean, in what could very well become an environmental crisis of
This photo taken on August 6, 2013 shows local government officials
and nuclear experts inspecting a facility to prevent seeping of
contamination water into the sea at Tokyo Electric Power’s (TEPCO)
Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. (AFP