In Diet deliberations on reconstruction of disaster-hit areas, Prime Minister Naoto Kan promised victims, as well as those in the farming and fishing industries, that the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. would compensate them, The Japan Times reported Friday.
"It goes without saying the primary responsibility lies with Tepco, but the government, which has been promoting nuclear power plants, cannot be exempt from responsibility," Kan said.
Tepco President Masataka Shimizu said Thursday the country's nuclear damage compensation law stipulates operators will be exempt from payment if "the damage is caused by a grave natural disaster of an exceptional character or by an insurrection."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano firmly rejected the idea of an exemption, saying the possibility of a major tsunami seriously damaging power plants had been discussed in previous Diet deliberations.
Meanwhile, bullet train services on the disaster-stricken Tohoku Shinkansen Line fully resumed Friday between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori for the first time since the March 11 disaster, Kyodo News reported.
The disaster had damaged power cables and electricity poles at about 1,200 locations on the Shinkansen "bullet" line, forcing East Japan Railway Co. to suspend all trains on the route.
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