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Friday, July 6, 2012
Inmates reap fallout redress from utility
By JUN HONGO
At least 36 inmates at Fukushima Prison have received compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co. over the nuclear disaster, an official at the facility said Thursday.
The prison is located in the city of Fukushima, about 67 km northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant. It lies within the government-set area in which Tepco is obliged to pay ¥80,000 in damages to each adult resident.
"As of Wednesday, 98 inmates at the prison had sent application forms for compensation" and 36 have already received payment, the official told The Japan Times.
He added that 11 prisoners at a branch for female inmates and one at another branch have also requested damages. About 1,700 inmates were incarcerated in the jail and its branches as of March 11 last year, prison authorities said.
The official said that although Tepco got in contact after the crisis started and asked to speak with inmates about redress, the prison declined.
Providing details of eligible inmates to a business could have led to "privacy issues," the official explained. But inmates learned of their eligibility for redress from media reports and contacted Tepco on their own.
Ryosuke Matsuura of the Center for Prisoners' Rights, criticized the prison for not informing the inmates.