Fukushima Pref. eyes uniform standards for recognizing deaths as related to nuke accident

26 June 2014

The Fukushima prefectural government is considering correcting municipal imbalances in standards for recognizing local people's deaths as being related indirectly to the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Specifically, the local government is seeking to have city, town and village offices share information on the causes of deaths believed associated with the nuclear disaster caused by the March 11, 2011 killer earthquake and tsunami.
At a prefectural assembly session on June 25, a senior prefectural government official in charge of compensation for damage from the disaster said it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify a relationship between deaths and the accident due to the long period of time that has lapsed, adding that the local government will call meetings with municipalities as needed to exchange information and share examples of accident-related deaths.
According to the prefectural government, 1,729 people had died as a result of lingering effects of the accident as of June 25, exceeding the 1,603 deaths caused directly by the disaster. The government intends to provide municipal authorities with information on accident-related deaths in an aggressive manner to help standardize norms for identifying such fatalities.
Note: Nuclear accident-related deaths result from deterioration in health conditions following protracted life in shelters as evacuees and they are recognized by a panel of experts such as medical doctors and lawyers set up by each municipality. A sum of 5 million yen is paid as consolation money to a family in the case of the death of a main income earner and half the sum for other dead family members.
(Translated by Kyodo News)