Lecture – The Fukushima Disaster: Law, Politics, and Compensation in Japan

Eric Feldman, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak today on the compensation committee set up by the Japanese government in the wake of the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant destruction last year.

The March 11, 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, jobless, and in deep despair. In an effort to help them cope with their losses, the government appointed a high-level committee to develop compensation guidelines. But those guidelines were meant only for the harms that resulted from the meltdown at Tepco’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. Simultaneously, a government dispute resolution process was created for individuals and companies seeking compensation for nuclear-related damages. These compensation efforts raise a number of difficult questions. Which victims of the Fukushima disaster deserve compensation, and for what types of harms? Why did the government and Tepco agree to provide compensation to the victims of the nuclear accident, but not to the victims of the earthquake or tsunami? To what extent does the Fukushima compensation scheme resemble similar schemes in the US, like those created after 9/11 and the recent Deepwater Horizon gulf oil spill? What should we learn from the situation in Fukushima about disasters, compensation, and justice in Japan, and beyond? 

  • Date:  12 April
  • Time:  12:10-1:00
  • Location:  1636 School of Social Work Bldg

Sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies.

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