Japan’s government on Friday ordered the operator of a tsunami-damaged nuclear plant leaking radiation to pay about $12,000 to each household forced to evacuate from the area.
Tens of thousands of residents unable to return to their homes near the nuclear plant are bereft of their livelihoods and possessions, unsure of when, if ever, they will be able to return home. Some have traveled hundreds of kilometers (miles) to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s headquarters in Tokyo to press their demands for compensation.
Hiroaki Wada, a Trade Ministry spokesman, said Friday that TEPCO will pay compensation as soon as possible, with families forced to evacuate getting 1 million yen (about $12,000) and individuals getting 750,000 yen (about $9,000).
“There are around 150 evacuation centers alone. It will take some time until everyone gets money. But we want the company to quickly do this to support people’s lives,” Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said at a news conference.