US sailors who helped the quake-stricken Japanese as part of “Operation Tomodachi” are now suing them for exposing them to radiation.
8 sailors from the US carrier “Ronald Reagan” who participated in the US military’s “Operation Tomodachi” efforts to aid beleaguered areas are suing the operators of the plant which spewed radiation over western Japan, alleging they have all potentially suffered horrendous radiation poisoning.
They say the Japanese government and the plant’s operator TEPCO (now semi-nationalised as the price for getting out of similar lawsuits) lied about the radiation dangers the plant’s open reactors posed, and consequently caused them to be deployed into unsafe areas.
They are demanding $10 million in compensation for a “lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering,” along with a further $30 million for allegedly covering up the extent of the disaster, and for good measure another $100 million to provide for any future medical expenses.
TEPCO have so far declined to comment on the litigation, saying they have yet to see the details.
As nobody has formally been held accountable for the nuclear disaster in Japan, let alone actually punished, there does not seem to be much chance of Japanese authorities going along with the suit – nor of much of a payout should Japan’s stingy courts be involved.
So far there have been no confirmed incidences of radiation related health damage as a result of the disaster, although of course large tracts of the prefecture remain indefinitely evacuated precisely as a precaution against this.
Most of the fallout in fact seems now to be poisoning the reputation of the US in Japan:
“Who needs friends like these…”
“Shouldn’t they be suing the US military rather than TEPCO?”
“So this is the real reason for Operation Tomodachi!”
“All for nothing now.”
“So the Yanks were just pretending to be our friends all along… How very American.”
“Gangster diplomacy, as usual.”
“This is horrible…”
“And just one idiot can ruin the whole thing. You hairy barbarians, call yourselves our friends!?”
“I would have thought the US military were far better informed about what was going on than anyone else.”
“Nobody would believe they didn’t know exactly what was happening with all their drones and spies.”
“Thank goodness for this alliance!”
“If they actually win this it could open the floodgates for people to get real compensation here as well. Good luck, I hope you get the bastards!”
“What does anyone expect from Americans and their love of lawsuits?”
“How much injury does it take to be considered a victim? Full paralysis?”
“Japanese are weak to foreign pressure. For the sake of the victims here, I hope they win.”
“This lawsuit is to be expected! The naive Japanese played right into the hands of the nuclear power camp.”
“The case is being brought in a US federal court. Somehow I expect they will have trouble enforcing claims made against a Japanese regional power utility.”
“I guess our electricity bills will be going up again.”