2013 Sep Press Release
Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit
What does the "reactor Supliers Lawsuit" intend to do?
”The Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit’s” Plaintiff Team launched
-- To bring the case to the Tokyo District Court this November
*** Heart of the matter – Is Japan’s “Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages” constitutional? ***
*** Should we let Hitachi, Toshiba, and GE get away with Fukushima?? ***
Issued by: Secretariat, the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team
Tokyo, September 2nd, CE 2013 -- The Plaintiff Team here announces that the Team is preparing to file a lawsuit, named “Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit,” against the three reactor suppliers – namely, Hitachi, Toshiba, and GE, to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (“Fukushima I” hereafter), which is still melting down as of September 2013. The Plaintiff Team plans to file the case to the Tokyo District Court on November 11th, CE 2013.
1. Developments so far
1-1. Launch of No Nukes Asia Actions-Japan (in August 2012), and what it stood for
Back in 2012, we saw numerous people chanting against a restart of any of Japan’s nuclear power plants (“NPPs” hereafter). We still do. And, needless to say, the Plaintiff Team’s members have joined in many of these protests. Still, already in 2012, reactor providers were reaching out to Vietnam, Jordan, Turkey, Finland (back then), and other countries in their efforts to sell their deadly products. Right and necessary it is to call for abolishment of the NPPs in Japan. Still, many citizens were at the same time seriously disturbed -- Fukushima I has destroyed much of Fukushima, has been polluting the Pacific, and is still melting down. Can we let deadly products like this be exported?
Some of those citizens, namely Choi Seungkoo, Tetsuo Ohkubo, Yutaka Yaginuma, and others, initiated a move to launch a new citizen group opposed to international spread of NPPs. They kicked off “No Nukes Asia Actions-Japan *” in August, 2012.
(* Though the group’s name contains “-Japan,” it is named in English. How to translate / explain the name in any other language is up to each party concerned.)
As this development to the group’s kickoff suggests, ever since its beginning, the group has been standing and working upon the following recognitions:
・ NPPs are a source of devastation that cover much of our planet today. No single country alone can eliminate them.
・ Just think of a country exporting its NPP to another. To counteract such a move, anti-nukes of both of the two countries as well as of many other countries should work together, for the maximum effects possible.
・ “Nuclear power” has been and is inseparable from “nuclear weapons.” For instance, many Middle Eastern countries are today trying to import NPPs. Behind these moves are Iran’s alleged nuclear development and Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. Indeed, in its very beginning, nuclear power was a development out of military nuclear technologies.
Now, aware of these facts listed above, since its very beginning, No Nukes Asia Actions-Japan has been pointing out to laws that sets forth “legal channeling of liability” for nuclear accidents. Such legal provisions are shared by most countries with nuclear power. The group considered and discussed what to do, to take “legal actions against such laws” in Japan first, where the Fukushima meltdown was and is still in progress.
Concurrently, No Nukes Asia Actions-Japan sent, several times in all so far, its Secretary General, Choi Seungkoo, to Mongolia, Taiwan, and South Korea, for talks with local anti-nuke and environmental groups. All those efforts paid off in the launch of “No Nukes Asia Actions,” as described below.
1-2. Launch of “No Nukes Asia Actions” and the lawsuit preparation began (November 2012)
No Nukes Asia Actions-Japan, in collaboration with many anti-nuke citizen groups outside Japan, kicked off an international network, “No Nukes Asia Actions,” on November 10th, 2012, at Tokyo’s Shinanomachi Church. Those collaborating parties outside Japan included, among others, those of Mongolia (where building of nuclear fuel disposals is a major social issue), Taiwan (where its NPP 4 is commonly called “Hinomaru NPP” and a national census is planned on it), South Korea (whose government and businesses are striving to export its NPPs, just as Japan’s counterparts are), North America, and Germany. Some people from those countries were present at the kickoff press meet of this new international network.
At this press meet, already, Attorney Akihiro Shima lectured on Japan’s “Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages,” which sets up “channeling of legal liability.” Attorney Shima is now the leader of the plaintiff’s attorneys’ team to this “Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit.”
1-3. No Nukes Asia Action’ preparation of the lawsuit, and launch of the “Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team” (August 2013)
Since its launch, No Nukes Asia Actions has been leading the efforts to collect plaintiffs as well as their attorneys to the proposed lawsuit, building up the Plaintiff Team in number, fund, and legal theory. This “lawsuit” itself, however, is not an easy one to comprehend, since it is, in a way, “a case against an existing law called ‘Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages.’” This means the citizen network has experienced a hard time winning people’s understanding. Still, as of August 2013, it has collected several dozens of plaintiffs, and is determined to build up the number in the coming months. Thus, the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team has been launched, as a separate organization from No Nukes Asia Actions.
2. The “Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit” in summary
True, this lawsuit is against the three reactor suppliers to Fukushima I – Hitachi, Toshiba, and GE. And the lawsuit claims only a “token amount” – “100 yen per individual plaintiff against the three NPR manufactures as compensation for spiritual damage of the world’s plaintiffs, suffering said damage through watching the images of the Fukushima meltdown incident via mass media or the like.” So, what on earth does this lawsuit actually intend to do?
In its essence, the lawsuit is meant to expose, to the whole world, the dangers of legal provisions setting up channeling of legal liability for nuclear damages to NPP operators. Japan’s “Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages (“CND Act” hereafter),” among many other similar laws of the world, does have such “channeling” provisions. And it is in fact a “pro-nuke” law, since it states, in a translation from the original Japanese text by the Plaintiff Team, “to contribute to the sound development of the nuclear power industry. *” As long as this 1961 law stands, the Fukushima I reactor suppliers are exempted from any legal liability, no matter how many thousands evacuate Fukushima, or how hopelessly contaminated water from the NPP pollutes the Pacific. Thus, their “deadly business” goes on.
(* The English translation above has been done by non-legal experts. The Plaintiff Team does NOT guarantee any precision of the translation with respect to legal expertise.)
★ The lawsuit outlined:
Name: The Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit
Plaintiff: The Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team (participation to it is open to people of the whole world, regardless of their nationalities.)
Defendants： Hitachi, Toshiba, and GE (the three reactor suppliers to Fukushima I)
“Nominal” demand: The “token amount” explained above – JPY 100- per individual plaintiff
“True intention” of the Plaintiff: To debate in court the constitutionality of Japan’s CND Act and to stimulate the general public’s awareness of this Act and problems it involves. → To initiate a series of similar lawsuits across the world.
The Plaintiff team plans to file the case before the Tokyo District Court on November 11th, 2013.
3. Responses from outside Japan
As of August 2013, the Plaintiff Team already consists of some plaintiffs from Taiwan. For the Team, Choi Seungkoo has already visited Taiwan three times so far, talking to local environmental and other organizations.
Choi, the Secretary General of the Team, has visited South Korea several times so far as well, for talks with anti-nuke organizations there, which have responded very positively to the lawsuit. As you, readers, know very well, South Korea has a national policy to export its NPPs, and many citizens are opposed to it – quite similar to the situation of Japan today.
We have received good responses from North America, Malaysia, etc. as well. The Plaintiff Team is determined to collect many more plaintiffs from the world over, in the coming months.
** This concludes the “body text” of this Press release. **
Secretariat, the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team
#102 Konan Residence, 1-18-14, Koenji-Minami, Suginami Ward, Tokyo 166-0003 Japan
FAX: +81-3-6765-3977 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
☎ +81-90-4067-9352 (Choi Seungkoo)
English weblog: http://ermite.just-size.net/test/
Japanese website: http://ermite.just-size.net/makersosho/index.html
Program of the September 2nd press meeting (3pm --)
Today’s press meeting by the Plaintiff Team consists of the following:
1. Developments so far (Shares much with this written press release) -- Tetsuo Ohkubo (Secretariat, Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team)
2. Schedule, details, etc. of the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit -- Attorney Akihiro Shima (Leader, the Attorneys’ Team for the plaintiff)
3. What the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit stands for -- Attorney Hiroyuki Kawai (Member, the Attorneys’ Team for the plaintiff)
4. Developments of cross-border collaborations among citizens accompanying the Lawsuit – Choi Sengkoo (Secretary general, Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit Plaintiff Team)
As you, readers, have already noticed, this written Press release does not cover legal discussions relevant to the Lawsuit. The Plaintiff team’s attorneys should elaborate on them, at 2. and 3. above.
This Press release, as well as the “Program” attached to is, contains schedules, “planned” dates and activities, etc. that might be subject to change in unpredictable future developments and changes in social situations, etc. For any such future change, the Plaintiff Team or its Attorneys’ Team should not be held responsible.)