The Latest: Japan execs plead not guilty in nuclear case

The Latest on the trial of three Japanese utility executives for the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. have pleaded not guilty to charges of negligence for the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata (tsoo-neh-hee-sah kah-tsoo-mah-tah) and vice presidents Sakae Muto (sah-kah-eh moo-toh) and Ichiro Takekuro (ee-chee-roh tah-keh-koo-roh) entered their pleas Friday in Tokyo District Court.

Each apologized for the disaster and the trouble it caused. They said they don't think they bear criminal responsibility, because they couldn't foresee it.

The plant was hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Radiation spread to surrounding communities, and 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 preventive measures could have prevented the disaster.



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