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Current state of the lawsuit


Latest situation in the Lawsuit against The Nuclear Reactor Suppliers (Nobuko Terada, Legal Team Secretariat)

The legal team has already submitted the appeal claim and the statement of the reasons for the appeal to the court, but because these documents have not yet been put in order, they are still at 24th Branch of Civil Affairs of the Tokyo District Court, which handled the first trial. As soon as the section of the High Court that is designated to hear the trail is determined, the legal team will make approaches to the court concerning consultations on the trial procedure. The designation of the date for oral proceedings will probably occur in the new year.

As we mentioned in the previous newsletter, the statement of the reasons for the appeal begins with the criticism that the verdict of the first trial was extremely weak in content and was tantamount to an abdication of the role of the judiciary. The statement then proceeds to give robust and deeper arguments for the appellants’ claims concerning the points of contention, including the no-nukes right and its violation, the unconstitutionality of the system of concentration of liability, the abuse of rights, the liability of nuclear reactor suppliers, and the creditors’ right of subrogation. An English summary of the statement of the reasons for the appeal is being prepared and will be published on the lawsuit website, although that may not happen until all the Japanese documents are also published, which may be at the start of the oral proceedings of the appeal trial.


The Supreme Court decided to turn down the appeal for the dismissal decision of the recusal of the judges.


Latest situation in the Lawsuit against The Nuclear Reactor Suppliers (Nobuko Terada, Legal Team Secretariat)

On 15 September 2016, the legal team submitted the statement of reasons for the appeal to the Tokyo High Court. (Since it has not yet been decided which section of the High Court will hear the trial, the statement of reasons for the appeal was accepted by the 24th Branch of Civil Affairs of the Tokyo District Court.) The statement of reasons is a document of 97 pages, beginning with the criticism of the verdict of the first trial verdict as one of shallow content that is tantamount to an abandoning of the role of the judiciary. The document then goes on to explain the no-nukes right and its violation, the unconstitutionality of the concentration of liability, the abuse of power, liability of the nuclear reactor suppliers, the creditors' right of subrogation and other points of contention, arguing the appellants' claims more deeply and robustly. The members of the legal team were assigned different section of the document to write, with the lawyer Akihiro Shima acting as overall supervisor going all out to ensure that a "winning document" would be prepared.

In addition, Mr. Masashi Goto (nuclear reactor flaws and safety), Honorary Professor Terumitsu Honma (Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CND) Act and protection of victims) and Professor Yamada Nozomi (requirements for the creditors' right of subrogation) penned extremely encouraging statements of opinion for the appeal trial. Mr. Goto's statement of opinion on nuclear reactor flaws alone is a massive 105 pages!!

We are expecting the date for the first meeting for oral proceedings to be fixed at the earliest by the end of this year. We hope that you will be able to read these statements of opinion and the statement of reasons - though that may be very difficult considering that they are in Japanese and very long. We hope that you will stand with us in solidarity as we put all of our strength into fighting this appeal trial. No Nukes!!

(We are planning to post the statements of opinion and the statement of reasons on the Lawsuit against The Nuclear Reactor Suppliers Legal Team website. We hope that you will take a look at the website at http://nonukesrights.holy.jp/ from time to time to see if they are there. We will try to post English summaries of these documents on the website by December 1.)


The Leagal Team brought the brief on appeal and opinions to the Tokyo Higher Court on September 15, 2016.


The Leagal Team brought the intermediate appeal to the Tokyo Higher Court on July 27, 2016.


The verdict in the first trial in the lawsuit was handed down at 4 p.m. on July 13, 2016, in Courtroom 103 of the Tokyo District Court. The plaintiffs' claims were rejected (rejection of the creditors' right of subrogation to demand compensation). Looking at the reasons for the verdict, it is clear that the court did not allow sufficient time for deliberation of the issues, and as stated in the recusal against the judges, the legal team for the plaintiffs was not even allowed to complete its claims. In order to demand a further judgment in an appeal trial, the legal team is now preparing documents for the appeal. (The claim for recusal of the judges was rejected on April 21, but the legal team made an immediate appeal to the Tokyo High Court on May 2. Although this recusal is still pending, it does not cause the trail procedure to be suspended and therefore the verdict was handed down on July 23.)

We very much hope that we can count on the continued cooperation of all the plaintiffs. We intend to thoroughly and doggedly pursue and expose the irrationality of the concentration of liability under the Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CND) Act and struggle for recognition of the liability for compensation by the nuclear reactor suppliers!


In the 4th oral proceedings at the Tokyo District Court on March 23rd, the Chief Judge Asakura abruptly declared the "end of oral proceedings" and it has become clear that the verdict will be handed down on July 13th.

This lawsuit, questioning the concentration of liability under the Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CND) Act, has great social significance and the arguments in the court have caught the attention of the world, but we have not yet completed our presentation of the claims and evidence!

After the verdict, to further present our claims and evidence in court, we will appeal to the High Court on July 27th.
Because of this we would very much like to request that all the plaintiffs to the first trial protest the abrupt ending of the first trial by taking the procedure for becoming a plaintiff to the appeal trial.

The procedure is as follows.
1. Please download 2 of the power of attorney form and example PDFs from down here:

2. Please use the example to fill out and sign both of the power of attorney. Please send 2 forms, one for the high court and the other for the highest court. And send them by post to the address below.

Overseas Plaintiffs Manager, Facilitators Group
C/O R-Rights Law Office, 3rd Floor, 3-9-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045 Japan

NO FEE whatsoever is charged for plaintiff registration.

Please see the website for news of the ongoing court battle. English newsletters will be sent to email addresses.



Current state of Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Suppliers 3/23/2016

Court clerks and security personnel standing at the entrance to the court numbered more than 30 in a much more ostentatious show of security than had been seen thus far. About 30 security personnel were also standing inside and outside the large 103 courtroom once the trail was about to begin.

The oral proceedings were conducted from 14:35 to 15:45 in front of a full gallery. The plaintiffs' representatives gave a 40-minute presentation of specific flaws in nuclear reactors and other matters using PowerPoint. The significance of this case is that while nuclear accidents are extremely serious and cause untold suffering and damage, because of the powerful barrier of the CND Act (which absolves plant manufacturers from liability) this is the first trial in the world that has brought to light the flaws of nuclear reactors in the courtroom. Observers in the gallery were listening to the proceedings with even more enthusiasm than before, but when the chief judge declared at the end, "I hereby close the oral proceedings today," the plaintiffs' representative stated, "We recuse the judges," the judges closed the court and hurried out amid angry shouting.

The legal team were scheduled to present detailed claims and evidence showing that there had been changes in the prosecutable facts for Japan's CND Act and its unconstitutionality, and therefore briefs had been prepared by constitutional and civil law researchers. To declare the end of the oral proceedings, despite the fact that these researchers were scheduled to be cross-examined in subsequent proceedings, and without allowing the defending legal team to conduct a rebuttal, is a total neglect of plaintiffs' rights, and since there is the fear that it may not now be possible to obtain a fair trail the legal team have filed a recusal document against all the judges.

The recusal document (in Japanese) can be seen at our website:http://nonukesrights.holy.jp/



Current state of Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Suppliers 10/28/2015

The second meeting of the oral proceedings were held in the Tokyo District Court Courtroom 103 from 10 a.m. On October 28, 2015.

  1. Concerning the submittion of the brief
    The second brief was submitted to the court by the plaintiff, but as an oral explanation was not given at this meeting, the statement was held over to a subsequent meeting. Regarding evidence, the plaintiff submitted evidence No. Kou16-42 and the defendant GE submitted No.Otsu 1, but the examination of the evidence was also held over to a subsequent meeting.
  2. Content of the Meeting
    Prior to the meeting, the legal team made a request to the court for the team to give a 40- to 60- minute oral explanation of the gist of the second brief, explaining that this is the right of the plaintiff based on the oral principle and also submitting an opinion paper. The court, however, wishing first to establish a consensus regarding procedural rules between the court and the two parties involved, did not grant time for the oral explanation, etc. At the meeting, sharp exchanges took place when the representative for the defendant GE repeatedly insisted that "(The case) can be dismissed on legal arguments alone" and "(The case) should be completed in three meetings," and the lawyer Mr. Kawai explaining in a cool and determined manner the gist and importance of the case. With the plaintiffs' legal team retiring to consult at one stage during the meeting, the following items were decided upon.
  3. - At the next meeting, the plaintiff will give an oral explanation of the gist, etc. of the second brief using PowerPoint (40 minutes).

    - A draft of the PowerPoint presentation will be submitted within the deadline as a brief.

    - The third brief will present claims concerning nuclear reactor defects. If there are parts of this that can be submitted by the next meeting, a part of the claims will be submitted, and the main explanation will be given at the meeting following that.

    -From now on, the court will judge in each instance regarding the use of the projector.

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 10 a.m. (Tokyo District Court, Courtroom 101)

Following meeting: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 2:30 p.m. (Tokyo District Court, Courtroom 103)

We hope very much that as many plaintiffs and supporters as possible will attend to observe the court proceedings in the next and subsequent meetings.

* Further, during the meeting, confirmation of the procedure for a case by the parties themselves (a case by the appointed parties involved) and withdrawal of the action was carried out.

Thank you for your support!

Nobuko Terada, Legal Team Secretariat


Current Situation in the Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Suppliers as of June 8, 2015.

The scheduling conference took place at the Tokyo District Court for one hour, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., on June 3, 2015, with the representatives of both the plaintiffs and defendants in attendance. The scheduling conference is a meeting for discussing the way to proceed with the case. There were times when fierce exchanges took place between our legal team and the defendants' representatives, but it was possible to decide on the time, content and method of the first trial date and we report to you on that as below.

1. Decision on the dates for oral arguments (trial schedule) The dates for the first three oral arguments have been decided as follows.
August 28, 2015 (Fri.) 10 a.m. (Court 101)
October 28, 2015 (Wed.) 10 a.m. (Court 103)
January 27, 2016 (Wed.) 10 a.m. (Court 103)

It was also noted that depending on the defendants' counterarguments and the content of the plaintiffs' assertions and proof, there may be further scheduling conferences held to decide how to proceed. These will be held after the oral arguments (and it is thought for that reason that any of the trial dates may take all morning).

2. Deadline for submission of the defendants' written answer The deadline for submission of the written answer from the three defendant companies has been set at July 10, 2015.

3. Content of the first meeting for oral arguments

At the first meeting for oral arguments, (1) one person from the plaintiffs' side will give an oral statement of views, and (2) several of the plaintiffs' representatives will present an overview and explanation of the significance of the case. (The court has recognized that the explanation can be performed with the use of PowerPoint.) The time allowed will be up to 40 minutes in total for (1) and (2). Next, the three defendant companies will give an explanation of the written response. The total time allowed for the three defendant companies will be up to 20 minutes.

4. Observing the first oral arguments

There are just under 100 seats for observers in the courtroom, and on the day these are to be allotted among the plaintiffs, the media and general observers. Plaintiffs who are not able to get one of the plaintiffs' seats may still be able to observe by getting one of the general observers' seats when lots are drawn before the trial.

5. Panel of judges

The judges taking charge of this case belong to the 24th Civil Division of the Tokyo District Court. The presiding judge will be Judge Masaru SAKAMOTO, and the other members of the panel will be Judge Tomoko TAKEBE and Judge Tatsunosuke WATANABE. (All three judges who have taken charge of the case thus far have been rotated in April this year.) Further, as was the wish of the court at the scheduling conference, we were notified in advance that cooperation is requested in that proceedings are to be carried out only by the representatives of both parties. One plaintiff, however, expressed a strong wish to the court to participate and it has been agreed that that person will sit in one of the observer's seats.

Finally, the trial is about to begin. It is really necessary that as many of you, the plaintiffs, as possible come to observe the trial in order to make a strong appeal to society for the case. We hope you will be able to come and observe the proceedings!

Legal Counsels, Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Builders


The Current Situation in the Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Builders as of Jan. 23, 2015

This is the updated information, as of Jan. 23, 2015, on the lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Builders. (2014 〔wa〕 case No. 2146 and case No. 5824)

The judges in charge of our case are now verifying the list of plaintiffs and the power of attorney, both of which had been already checked by the court clerks. This process is supposed to be completed by the end of January, according to the court. And Complaint will be served to the defendants early in February. After receiving the Complaint, the defendants will inform the court of the appointment of their attorneys. So at the next pretrial meeting, to be held in March, both parties in the case and the court will discuss such issues as the date for the first oral argument. First date is expected to be held at the grand bench in the Tokyo District Court.

Nobuko Terada, Attorney / Secretary


Current Situation in the Lawsuit against the Nuclear Reactor Builders

The fifth meeting concerning the Lawsuit against the Nuclear Plant Makers (2014 [wa] Case No.2146 and case No.5824) with the judges of the 24th Civil Division of the Tokyo District Court was held on December 3, 2014.

Thus far we have been working with the court putting in order and cross-checking the list of plaintiffs (the list showing the names and addresses of the plaintiffs) with the power of attorney letters, but the list of plaintiffs still requires a little more revision.

At the same time, as noted in the previous legal counsels' newsletter, etc., it is necessary to take procedures to withdraw the lawsuit for those people who have been requested to re-submit the power of attorney letter, but whom we have been unable to contact or from whom we have not received a reply.

As soon as the revision of the list of plaintiffs and the procedures for withdrawal of the lawsuit for those plaintiffs for whom the lawsuit must be withdrawn due to the reasons mentioned above have been completed, the court will deliver the complaint to the defendants (GE, Hitachi and Toshiba).

The delivery of the complaint is the procedure for sending the complaint prepared by the legal counsels for this lawsuit to the defendants, and this will inform the defendants of the specific contents of the plaintiffs' claims, enabling the defendants to prepare their counterarguments.

For the schedule following delivery of the complaint, at the stage where the legal counsel for the defendants becomes aware of the delivery of the complaint, we will have a date set for consultations on how the lawsuit should proceed in the form of meeting(s) with the defendants' legal counsel at the court. The first trial date is to be designated on that date, while allowing both parties to adjust their schedules.

The court has not made a clear statement about the specific schedule for the proceedings in the meetings held thus far, but our legal counsels believe that if the work on putting the list of plaintiffs in order advances smoothly the complaint will be delivered to the defendants before the end of the year, the consultations on proceedings with the legal counsel for the defendants will be held in January or February and the first trial date set for February or March. [According to the latest schedule confirmed at the court, the delivery of the complaint will probably be in February.]

At last, the concrete offense and defense with the defendants in the Lawsuit against the Nuclear Plant Makers is about to get underway. We hope that all the plaintiffs will add their strength to that of the legal team to help fight this crucially significant lawsuit!

Masato Yoshida, Legal Counsel