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Prosecutors Not to Indict Executives in Fukushima Disaster

Japanese prosecutors are expected not to indict three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. on charges of professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries over the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, sources familiar with the matter said.

Tokyo, Japan — Japanese prosecutors are expected not to indict three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. on charges of professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries over the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Investigators at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office are currently reinvestigating the three after a judicial panel of citizens decided last July that the three should be indicted.

The three are Tsunehisa Katsumata, 74, chairman of TEPCO at the time of the disaster, and two former vice presidents -- Sakae Muto, 64, and Ichiro Takekuro, 68.

Officials of the Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectural governments have told prosecutors they had not thought it necessary before the disaster for TEPCO to take anti-tsunami measures at the nuclear power plant, the sources said.

The prosecutors are expected to formally decide not to indict the three former executives early next year.

If the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution decides again that the three men should be indicted, the Tokyo District Court will pick lawyers to serve as prosecutors and file an indictment against the three.

Prosecutors made their initial decision not to file charges against the three former TEPCO executives in September 2013.

Then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other former government officials were also accused of bearing responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But prosecutors dropped the case in 2013 and a citizens' judicial panel supported the decision.

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