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Evacuees won't have to pay back compensation

November 11, 2014

TEPCO to refrain from taking legal action over repayment of nuclear compensation


Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has decided it will not take legal action over its desire for the repayment of some compensation paid to evacuees of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant after the Mainichi Shimbun reported on a case of an evacuee who had been asked by the company to pay back some of the compensation she had already received.

TEPCO demanded a 21-year-old woman whose family home was located in a difficult-to-return zone -- an area within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant -- pay back some 9 million yen because she had moved out of the evacuation zone to go to a college outside of Fukushima Prefecture. The woman was told by the utility in September that her evacuation ended when she moved out of the family home in April 2011 because she had decided to enter a college outside of Fukushima before the disaster.

After the Mainichi Shimbun reported on the story in October, evacuees in a similar situation consulted with the nuclear damage response office of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency that supervises nuclear disaster compensation issues. As a result, the office moved to check with TEPCO on its compensation guidelines.

According to the nuclear damage response office, TEPCO concluded that it will not proceed with cases further when evacuees have already received compensation, that it will not take legal action against evacuees who are subject to requests for compensation repayment and that it will not offset the amount of compensation without the consent of evacuees. TEPCO has notified the woman and other subjects for compensation repayment about the company's decision.

Despite confusion and criticism about its policies, TEPCO is still reluctant to release its in-house compensation guidelines for defining the end of evacuation.

November 11, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

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