Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fukushima compensation panel worked for research unit who relies on Funding from power company - 24th Sept 2011

Two members of the government's Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation assumed top posts at the Japan Energy Law Institute, which relies on the country's utility firms for its funding, and received monthly payments of about 200,000 yen each, it has been learned.

The dispute reconciliation committee is tasked with making the policy for compensation to be paid by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for damage caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The nine-member panel was established under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in April. A ministry official working in a section dealing with compensation procedures defended the committee, saying, "Committee meetings have been open to the public, and I cannot imagine they would take a position unfairly slanted to TEPCO. Neutrality is being maintained."

According to the ministry, of the nine committee members, Toyohiro Nomura, a professor at Gakushuin University, became a director and head of the Japan Energy Law Institute in April and has been receiving a monthly salary of about 200,000 yen. Tadashi Otsuka, a professor at Waseda University, served as head of the research department at the same institute and monthly payments of about the same amount, but he resigned from the research institute in late June and returned the money for the April-June period to the institute. There was another committee member who held a senior post at the research institute, but that person left the institute upon becoming a member of the government panel. Read More