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Iitate residents to file for arbitration

A group of residents from a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is planning to file for state arbitration so all villagers can be entitled to equal damages regardless of radiation levels of their areas.

The entire village of Iitate is designated for evacuation, but it is categorized into three different zones, each with a different radiation level and differing amounts of compensation.

The residents from the two zones with relatively low contamination say that the difference in compensation is dividing residents.

They plan to ask the Center for Settlement of Fukushima Nuclear Damage Claims to urge the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay them equal damages.

The residents also plan to seek the payment of consolation money worth about 30-thousand dollars per person. They say they were exposed to more radiation because the evacuation order wasn't issued until more than one month after the meltdown.

About 2,500 people, or 40 percent of all Iitate residents, are expected to join the group. The group hopes to invite more people to take part and file for arbitration in autumn.

The leader of the group, Kenichi Hasegawa, says he hopes residents will unite to express their anger.

Jul. 22, 2014 - Updated 08:27 UTC