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Appeal filed against former TEPCO executives over Fukushima nuclear crisis

TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Lawyers acting as prosecutors Tuesday appealed to the Supreme Court against an acquittal for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) who were accused of failing to prevent the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The lawyers took action after the Tokyo High Court dismissed their appeal against a Tokyo District Court ruling that acquitted former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, and former Executive Vice Presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto, of charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injuries.

Last week, the high court said it was “reasonable” for the district court to conclude that the three could not have anticipated a tsunami the size of the one that knocked out the key cooling functions at the Daiichi nuclear power plant and caused core meltdowns.

After being hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March 2011, the facility in northeastern Japan experienced an unusual triple meltdown.

The high court upheld the lower court’s decision and stated that the former executives could not have foreseen the enormous wave since a long-term evaluation by a government agency was not trustworthy.

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