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By Vittorio Hernandez
Residents of areas near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant who have been forced to flee their homes are criticizing the 200-page document sent by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for them to be eligible for compensation.
Evacuees are pushing for simplified compensation claims forms. TEPCO sent 60,000 application packages this week. One of the three form has 56 pages, while the explanatory brochure is 156 pages.
To file a claim evacuees must also submit receipts and other records to support their claim.
The evacuees say out that during the crisis no one thought about collecting receipts for the purchases they made while fleeing. TEPCO, which also required medical certificates as proof of ailments, said claimants who don't have receipts will be dealt with on a case-to-case basis.
In contrast, Japanese insurers require premium holders to file only a one- or two-page claim application for damages due to natural disasters. The General Insurance Association of Japan said it simplified the claim process because of the sheer volume of claimants, which had reached 685,000.
TEPCO Managing Director Naomi Hirose said last month that the utility firm is expecting to be deluged by up to 500,000 claims from individuals and companies affected by the nuclear disaster.
Another financial drain for TEPCO would be to pay for the decontamination of the affected areas. An estimate by University of Tokyo Professor Yuichi Moriguchi placed the extent of contamination to more than 2,000 square kilometers (1,243 square miles) of the Fukushima Prefecture at radiation levels considered high enough to warrant decontamination measures.
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Fukushima Evacuees Slam Compensation Requirements | Global Viewpoint