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Fishermen, local residents in Fukushima file lawsuit to stop discharge of wastewater from nuclear plant

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« A group of lawyers decided to take legal action to stop the discharge of wastewater from the Fukushima plant nuclear. On Friday, they marched along with hundreds of local residents to the city’s courthouse to file a lawsuit.
The lawsuit is a collective action brought by 151 Fukushima residents. The defendants are the Japanese government and Japanese energy company Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), responsible for the plant. During a press conference, the lawyers explained the case.
« The document issued by TEPCO and the government states that ‘no disposition will be made without the understanding of the parties concerned’, which we believe is a contract to be made for a third party under the Civil Code. It’s a legally binding agreement. Despite the existence of this agreement, and despite the fact that more than 70 percent of the local governments in the prefecture are still opposed to the discharge. The Fisheries Federation is also naturally opposed. And, despite the lack of understanding, it is clearly and procedurally illegal to dispose of the contaminated water », explained Kenjiro Kitamura, one of the lawyers involved.
The objective is stop the discharge of ‘treated’ water into the Pacific ocean. The procedure began in August at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, this is the first lawsuit in Japan seeking an injunction against the discharge of treated wastewater. An additional lawsuit is scheduled to be filed at the end of October.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim that the discharge of treated wastewater violates the rights of citizens to live peacefully and makes it difficult for people involved in the fishing industry to recover their livelihood.
« First of all, I want to tell you that this fight is a struggle for justice. It is extremely immoral to discharge this radioactive material into the ocean. It is truly immoral », argued Hiroyuki Kawai, other lawyer responsible for the case.
Traces of tritium have been registered in the ocean near the Fukushima wastewater discharge site for the first time, according to a statement released by TEPCO earler this month.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami in 2011. »

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