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Residents Move Courts Seeking Compensation For Fukushima Nuke Damage

People affected by Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident have moved courts filing new lawsuits against the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on the second anniversary of the nuclear catastrophe, Japanese media reported.

More than 1,600 people on Monday approached district courts in the prefectures of Fukushima, Chiba and Tokyo, demanding compensation for their suffering and losses. Most of them were evacuees who abandoned their homes to escape radiation from the tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant in Japan's northeast.

At the Fukushima court, the petitioners demanded restoration of the region where they lived to its condition before radioactive materials contaminated the area. They also sought 50,000 yen ($520) a month for each resident in damage payments. Total compensation being sought through the courts was about $55 million.

TEPCO refused to comment as it had not yet seen details of the cases. The Industry Ministry, which oversaw the nuclear regulatory body at the time of the accident, also declined to comment.

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that unleashed a powerful tsunami on March 11, 2011 knocked out the Fukushima nuke plant sending out radiation that contaminated food and water, and forced the evacuation of more than 160,000 residents around a 30-kilometer radius of the stricken plant. Most of the evacuees were still living in makeshift shelters as decontamination work is at a slow pace.

by RTT Staff Writer

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