Japan’s government on Friday ordered the embattled operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to offer payouts to tens of thousands of people made homeless by the ongoing crisis.
Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said it would give an initial one million yen ($12,000) to each family living around the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi power station.
“We have decided to offer necessary payment as provisional compensation so that we can provide as much support as possible,” TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu said.
Tens of thousands who were ordered to evacuate an initial 20-kilometre zone around the plant will be eligible for the money, as are many more from a further 10-kilometre band who were advised to stay indoors.
The payment will also cover people in communities further afield who have this week been told to prepare for evacuation because of worries over the effects of long-term exposure to radiation from the overheating reactors.
Shimizu said the firm would begin making the payments this month.