I’m very pleased to announce that a selection of witness statements from people who were residing in Fukushima at the time of the triple disaster of March 11, 2011 will now be included in the Red Kimono exhibition.
The statements, by 50 Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the FUKUSHIMA Nuclear Disaster, are from the book: Fukushima Radiation: Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?, now available in English as an e-book. No need for a Kindle – readable via the Kindle app:
Fukushima Radiation: Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?
The authors of the statments range in age from 7 to 87, and they wrote these statements as part of the criminal complaint filed with the public prosecutor by the Fukushima Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. What, exactly, is a criminal complaint, and who is a “complainant”? In this case, the complaint is the formal legal procedure initiated by citizens in response to the failure of both prosecutors and police to investigate the criminal liability of Tepco and government agencies for their roles in the nuclear disaster. The group complaint, filed at the office of the public prosecutor, is a demand for investigation and indictment of the responsible parties.
Because this is a criminal and not a civil procedure, these citizens are “complainants” rather than “plaintiffs.”
True, some of the Complainants are also plaintiffs in the various civil cases generated by the Fukushima disaster, such as the “Give Us Back Our Livelihood, Give Us Back Our Community” Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Lawsuit; “Denounce Nuclear Power Generation: Redress for the Villagers of Iitate”; or “The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial for the Right to Education in a Safe Place.”
Although several Complainants in this booklet draw a connection between the failure of the state to pursue criminal liability and the difficulty of getting anything resembling adequate compensation from Tepco, it is important to keep in mind that as Complainants, they do not stand to gain anything individually even under the best-case scenario: if, after all the prosecutorial refusals, an indictment is brought, a trial held, and some parties found to be criminally responsible for the nuclear disaster.
Rather, the Complainants are driven by grief, anger, and incredulity. So much harm had been inflicted, with demonstrated negligence not only leading up to the disaster but in its aftermath, with dire consequences not only for themselves but flung far into the future. After all this, how could it be that no one was held responsible? How could it be that the police, let alone the prosecutors, had not conducted a thorough investigation? Did the rule of law not prevail in Japan? As victims bearing witness, they seek to exercise their responsibility to future generations, that the calamity not be repeated, that the harm be contained by all means possible.’