Gov’t says Tokyo ‘too far away to pose a health risk’ from Fukushima

06/23/2011
By

TOKYO (majirox news) – The Japanese government has sought the dismissal of a Tokyo man’s case seeking to have construction of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant declared illegal, saying, “the capital is too far away to pose a health risk.”

Government lawyers told the Tokyo District Court to throw out the lawsuit filed by Takenori Eto, a 30-year-old man from Taito ward, who has sued the government claiming that its permission to build the plant now leaking radiation was invalid and illegal.

“There are many parents who are worried about their children’s safety and feel the same way as I do,” said Eto, who has a child less than a year old.

Government lawyers used the opening hearing of the case to argue that Eto lives in Tokyo, about 220 kilometers away from the leaking reactors in Fukushima Prefecture and has no right to sue as radiation can harm those only within a few kilometers of the reactor. The lawyers said Eto, unlike residents of areas in the vicinity of the reactors, was not in a position to be suing over the validity of the permission granted for their placement.

In response to Eto’s argument that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government issued a warning urging infants to refrain from drinking water after radioactive iodine above acceptable healthy levels was detected in the capital in March, a government lawyer said, “acceptable levels are set at parameters well above the minimum needed to ensure safety.”

Eto is also suing with an identical claim against the construction of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant and the government also sought to have this case dismissed.

“Somebody had to do it, so I did,” he said. “We need to protect our children.”

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