TEPCO former exec denies tsunami accusations
NHK -- Oct 17
A Tokyo court has begun questioning 3 former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company about their involvement in the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto were indicted by court-appointed lawyers on charges of professional negligence resulting in death. All 3 have denied the charges.

Public prosecutors decided in 2013 not to press charges against the 3. But a prosecution inquest panel of randomly selected citizens later voted to indict them. This led to mandatory indictment by the lawyers appointed by the court to act as prosecutors.

Muto took the stand first on Tuesday at the Tokyo District Court. The former vice president in charge of nuclear plant safety measures apologized at the start of his hearing.

In 2008, 3 years before the accident, Muto received an in-house report that said tsunami waves up to 15.7 meters high could hit Fukushima Daiichi, according to calculations based on the government's long-term assessment of tsunami.

More than a month later, Muto allegedly ordered the matter referred to the Japan Society of Civil Engineers for further consideration. Lawyers acting as prosecutors claim Muto put off anti-tsunami safety measures.

Muto said he was told the long-term assessment lacked credibility because experts have different opinions about it.

He said the only option was to refer the matter to civil engineering experts.

Muto added that seeking opinions of outside experts is standard procedure in making management decisions.

He strongly denied putting off countermeasures, and described the allegations as totally unthinkable.

福島第一原発事故を巡る東京電力の旧経営陣の刑事裁判で、被告人質問を受けた元副社長が津波対策の先送りを指示したとの指摘を強く否定しました。 東電の元会長・勝俣恒久被告(78)、元副社長・武藤栄被告(68)ら3人は原発事故を巡り、死傷者を出した業務上過失致死傷の罪に問われています。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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