Trial of 3 former TEPCO execs to begin soon


The defendants are former Tokyo Electric Power Company chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto. The trial will begin at the Tokyo District Court at 10 AM.

The 3 are accused of failing to take appropriate measures despite having been able to predict the tsunami. Their actions are alleged to have contributed to the deaths of 44 people, including hospital inpatients forced to stay at evacuation shelters for a long period. The defendants plan to plead not guilty.

Points of contention will likely include whether the defendants were able to predict that a huge tsunami would hit the plant, and whether the accident could have been prevented if proper steps had been in place.

A tsunami estimate made by the utility 3 years before the disaster showed the plant could be hit by tsunami higher than its seawall.

Another major point will be to what extent the defendants had been aware of the need for measures to protect against tsunami.

A trial for 3 former executives of the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant will begin on Friday. It will be the first trial concerning criminal responsibility for the March 2011 accident at the nuclear plant. (NHK)

Police in Tokyo said Thursday they have arrested an unemployed 20-year-old man on a charge of forcible obstruction of business after he posted a message on the 2channel online bullet board, in which he said a bomb was set to go off at Shibuya Station in Tokyo. (Japan Today)

A twin-propeller plane made a belly landing Thursday at Nagasaki airport due to mechanical trouble, causing a brief runway closure and the cancellation of over a dozen flights, the airport operator and the transport ministry said. (Japan Times)

Japan’s space agency has proposed to a government panel a plan to send Japanese astronauts to the moon after 2025. (NHK)

The frequent tests and growing sophistication of North Korean missiles is prompting the Japanese government and the general public to think carefully about civil defence. What if Pyongyang actually did fire missiles at a major Japanese city? (aljazeera.com)

A Japanese budget airline apologised Wednesday for forcing a wheelchair-bound man to crawl up a set of stairs to board his flight. (scmp.com)

Farmers in Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, have started shipping square watermelons across the country. (NHK)

A 42-year-old woman of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly setting a man on fire, causing him to sustain burns over his entire body, police said. (Japan Times)

A committee of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, came up with a proposal on Tuesday calling for charging fees on households without television sets for watching TV programs distributed through the Internet simultaneously. (Jiji)

The poverty rate among Japanese children slightly improved in 2015 thanks in part to the country’s better job market but one in every seven children remains poor, a survey by the welfare ministry showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)


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