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Ex-TEPCO execs not guilty for Fukushima nuclear crisis

Christian Fernsby |
Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. were acquitted Thursday on charges of failing to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster, triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

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At the Tokyo District Court, former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 79, along with Ichiro Takekuro, 73, and Sakae Muto, 69, both former vice presidents, had argued they could not have foreseen the massive tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and caused core meltdowns.

The three were indicted for failing to implement tsunami countermeasures leading to the deaths of 44 people including patients forced to evacuate from a hospital as well as for injuries sustained by 13 people in hydrogen explosions at the plant.

Court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors had called for five-year prison terms for the trio, claiming they would have prevented the nuclear disaster if they had fulfilled their responsibility to collect information and implement safety measures.

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