TOKYO (TR) – At the opening of their trial on Monday, two employees of mid-tier contractor Hazama Ando admitted to allegations of fraud related to decontamination work for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011, reports NHK (Dec. 4).
At the Tokyo District Court, Yoshiji Moro, 50, and Yuichi Yamashita, 48, admitted to defrauding the government of Tamura City out of 76 million yen in 2013 by inflating budgets for worker accommodations.
According to the prosecution, measurements taken prior to the beginning of the work showed a drastic decrease in radiation doses in the area, meaning decontamination work commissioned to outside contractors was expected to fall below a target budget of 3 billion yen.
“They were instructed to discuss countermeasures with persons in charge of the Tohoku area,” the prosecution said. “However, the two [defendants] decided to overcharge on accommodation expenses.”
According to a previous report from earlier this year, the estimated costs for the cleanup work as tabulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has ballooned to 4 trillion yen from a previous projection of 2.5 trillion yen.