Aug. 23, 2022
Please allow all of the young plaintiffs to make a statement.”
On August 3, a support group for the plaintiffs in the 311 Childhood Thyroid Cancer Trial, who are suing Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for thyroid cancer caused by exposure to radiation as a result of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, submitted a petition to the court asking for statements of opinion from all the plaintiffs. On February 2 and 3, a group of supporters of the plaintiffs submitted signatures to the court demanding that all plaintiffs make a statement of their opinions.
The signatures were submitted by the 311 Thyroid Cancer Children Support Network. The group submitted 6,395 signatures to the Tokyo District Court, which it had been calling for since June, demanding that all plaintiffs state their opinions and that the case be tried in “grand court. At a press conference held prior to the submission, attorney Kenjiro Kitamura stressed the importance of the statements of opinion, saying, “It is extremely important to hear directly from the plaintiffs themselves about the reality of the damage, including their suffering and thoughts.
Attorney Yuki Saito, who is in charge of the two plaintiffs, explained that the plaintiffs in this trial are of a relatively young generation, and that “the plaintiffs became ill when they were small children and suppressed their feelings so that their parents would not worry. He stated that it is extremely difficult to have multiple plaintiffs present their opinions on a single trial date because it takes a lot of effort just to prepare one plaintiff’s opinion statement.
After the opinion statements, the plaintiffs were able to talk about their feelings with each other.
A plaintiff who participated in the press conference also reflected, “Around the time I joined this trial, I rarely talked about my painful experiences and feelings to other people,” and added, “Plaintiff No. 2 spent two months last time (for the first oral argument) to talk about his suffering. After facing her suffering and putting it into words, and delivering her voice directly to the judge, she was able to learn about the feelings of others in similar situations, and she was able to talk about her feelings with other plaintiffs.” and expressed the plaintiffs’ thoughts and feelings
Attorney Kitamura commented that the plaintiffs, who had kept their minds closed, were beginning to face up to the damage they had suffered through the trial, “For them, it is like rubbing salt in the wound, but I think it is a necessary step for them to take a new step forward. He added, “No matter how painful it is, facing it is inherently redeeming.” He added emphatically, “I think it is absolutely necessary for us to really move forward from now on.”