Ex-TEPCO leaders stand trial for Fukushima nuclear disaster

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. are going on trial for alleged negligence in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The trial starting Friday in Tokyo District Court is the first to consider whether the utility can be held criminally responsible.

Radiation spread into surrounding communities after the nuclear plant was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami. Some areas remain uninhabitable six years later.

The trial is expected to focus on whether the former officials should have been aware of the risk and whether preventive measures could have prevented the disaster.

Former TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata (tsoo-neh-hee-sah kah-tsoo-mah-tah) and two vice presidents are being tried.

Prosecutors dropped the case, but the three were later indicted by a citizens' judicial panel.



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