A man from Fukushima Prefecture has filed a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) claiming the utility created the conditions that caused the suicide of his wife.
According to government figures, there have been over 60 suicides in the Tohoku region since last year’s earthquake and tsunami, which triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiiichi nuclear power plant, Fuji TV reported.
Mikio Watanabe, 61, and his family filed a lawsuit against TEPCO over the suicide of Watanabe’s wife, Hamako, 58. The Watanabes were forced to leave their home in Kawamata which was designated a no-go zone
Last July 1, Hamako returned to the home they had abandoned and set herself on fire in front of it. Lawyers representing victims of the nuclear crisis have attributed her depression and suicide to the nuclear disaster.
According to Watanabe, his wife had started to lose her appetite and was suffering from insomnia as a result of a prolonged period of living in shelters, Fuji reported. Watanabe requested compensation from TEPCO directly following the incident, but was refused.
Watanabe filed the suit on Friday at Fukushima District Court. He is seeking 91 million yen in damages from TEPCO in the first lawsuit over a suicide linked to the nuclear crisis.