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The Legal Impact of the Fukushima Disaster

September 19, 2014 @ 8:30 am - 6:15 pm


The Legal Impact of the Fukushima Disaster
A one day program at Hastings College of Law. 
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which was caused by the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami was a disaster of unprecedented scale on March 11, 2011. After the earthquake occurred and the tsunami hit the station on March 11, 2011, electricity was lost, the cooling system failed, a meltdown occurred, and, ultimately, hydrogen explosions happened, spewing nuclear contaminated air to surrounding areas.
Even though the Fukushima area was known for the risk earthquakes and tsunami for centuries, that risk was underestimated when the station was constructed in 1967, and the laws in place at the time of the disaster were not sufficient.
The accident itself is considered worse than the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979 and equal to that of Chernobyl in 1986. One hundred and thirteen thousand residents had to evacuate.  Eight municipal governments were also moved away from their original locations; those governments had to provide care for their residents who were widely dispersed all over Japan.
The disaster has posed an enormous challenge for law and lawyers in Japan.  How can people seek remedies for their damages? What new laws are required to help local governments and residents? Do the devastated areas have a sufficient number of lawyers who can handle such tasks, and how can outside lawyers help if there are insufficient local lawyers? How can we provide legal services to relocated local governments and dispersed residents?
A group of faculty members and affiliated lawyers of Waseda University Law School organized a project to meet these and other challenges in the legal aftermath of this disaster, including their own activities in the devastated areas.
The symposium includes two leading faculty members and one affiliated lawyer of Waseda, as well as a leading American Japanologist who published on some of these issues.  Panelists include:

  • Professor Morris Ratner, UC Hastings College of the Law
  • Professor Yoshitaka Wada, Waseda University Law School
  • Professor Takao Suami, Waseda University Law School
  • Mr. Kenji Fukuda, Partner, Waseda Legal Commons LLP
  • Professor Eric Feldman, University of Pennsylvania Law School

This is an MCLE event, 1 MCLE credit will be given for each hour attended (lunch and reception not included).
Please join them for an interesting and stimulating discussion of politics and law in modern Japan.


$30 Standard Registration Fee

Click here to register.

This event is co-sponsored by:

Japan Society of Northern California
Collaborative Research Network on East Asian Law and Society of the Law and Society Association.


September 19, 2014
8:30 am - 6:15 pm


UC Hastings College of the Law, Alumni Reception Center, 2nd Floor
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA United States
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