On the afternoon of March 11th, 2011, we had a massive earthquake of magnitude 9, followed by the unprecedented gigantic tsunami landed on Tohoku region. It destroyed nuclear power plants in Tohoku with making an enormous loss, which has not been restored yet. Our company donated money through Japanese Red Cross Society expressing our feeling for the victims. I myself also made a donation through a public corporation of Kaikousha to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces for their rescue work to express gratitude for them.
By the way, Tokyo Electric Power is not liable for damage of the nuclear accident legally. The government has been making an aggressive claim that the TEPCO is also responsible for the recompense as well as the government, to avoid criticism for the government. According to the article 3 of Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damages, it is written that, in case of unprecedented tsunami attack, operators of nuclear plants are privileged. In case of not applying a disclaimer, although this is within assumption, the maximum amount of recompense is set to 120 billion yen. Moreover, to comply with the liability, a council of the government is needed as specified in article 7. Then TEPCO can’t comply with it until the result of a council come out.
Nevertheless, Kan administration has stated that the TEPCO has primal responsibility of the recompense, forcing them to pay temporary for the victims of disaster. These illegal acts could cause not only a shareholder lawsuit of TEPCO but also the fact that the government gives a priority to extralegal measures, which brings a major crisis in democracy and a law-governed country.
In short, TEPCO’s responsibility for compensating the damage is privileged. As a result, primal responsibility lies with the government. If the government claim that “TEPCO is not privileged”, it will raise a controversial issue of contradiction for giving an approval to operate nuclear power plants under an unsatisfactory state. Nuclear power plants can never be operated without an approval of the government. Then, as long as the primal responsibility lies with the government, the recompense should be paid by tax. An irresponsible statement of the government,” The understanding of people for the use of tax is hard to be obtained,” without the responsibility of TEPCO, makes me upset very much.
The tax we paid, whether we don’t like how it is spent, has never been returned before. If the government does not spend tax for securing people, nobody would pay it. It is like people in Hokkaido hesitate to agree with the use of tax for self-defense when Kyusyu region is attacked, because they are not influenced by it directly. In case of unprecedented disaster, we must say “Inject tax money.” It’s a matter of course that we have to think carefully about strategy of its usage.
It was Yonekura, the chairman of the Federation of Economic Organizations, first stated the opinion that TEPCO is not guilty. The media are reluctant to argue this matter possibly for the fear of victim’s anger. The victims release their anger and sorrow toward TEPCO as the media leads them to do so. The government has no leadership and the media do not care about “right”; their responsibility is heavy. Recently there has been an argument of the debt forgiveness to TEPCO from banks, and then finally an objection was made by banks. If the government clearly stated the primal responsibility of government in the first place, assuring the recompense for all victims, it would have wiped off anxiety of people to some extent.