Kenichi Ido, Attorney, Lead Counsel for the 3.11 Children’s Thyroid Cancer Lawsuit
Hiroyuki Kawai, Attorney, Co-counsel for the 3.11 Children’s Thyroid Cancer Lawsuit
Fukushima Thyroid-Cancer Victims Take TEPCO to Court
In the 11 years since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant, nearly 300 cases of thyroid cancer have been detected in mass screenings of Fukushima Prefecture residents who may have been exposed to radiation from the accident.
The Japanese government insists there is no relationship between the nuclear accident and the increase in the number of children suffering from thyroid cancer. As a result, say some Fukushima residents, many victims have felt unable to speak out about their fears.
On January 27th, six young Japanese people filed a class-action lawsuit against TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), the operator of the plant in March 2011, seeking a total of ¥616 million in compensation. The plaintiffs, who were between six and 16 years old at the time of the disaster, say they developed thyroid cancer due to exposure to radiation after the meltdown. Four of the six have had their thyroids removed.
Their supporters say they have faced various hardships, and the burden of continued medical treatments has forced some to drop out of college or abandon careers, in addition to other difficulties. The plaintiff’s lawyers will discuss their ongoing treatment, why it has been hard to speak out and what is at stake in the trial.
(L to R) Hiroyuki Kawai and Kenichi Ido Attorney lawyers for the 3.11 Children’s Thyroid Cancer Lawsuit speak during a news conference at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on March 2, 2022, Tokyo, Japan. Ido and Hiroyuki Kawai Attorney Co-counsel spoke about the hundreds of cases of thyroid cancer detected in residents of Fukushima Prefecture, that may have been exposed to radiation after the nuclear meltdown accident in 2011.
(Photos by Rodrigo Reyes Marin). To license images please visit: AFLO