Muto Ruiko

Muto Ruiko, born in Miharu-machi, Fukushima, began her antinuclear activities in the late 1980s. As it became more and more likely that no one would be held responsible for the devastating disaster that began on March 11, 2011, she embarked on organizing citizen complainants, gathering 1,324 Fukushima residents for the first round, 14, 716 other citizens for a second. (See Field and Mizenko, Fukushima Radiation: Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed for statements by fifty complainants.) She led the Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Fukushima Gempatsu Kokusodan) through a series of defeats until finally, in July, 2015, a prosecution review commission determined that three former TEPCO executives were appropriate subjects of indictment. A new group, Supporters of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Criminal Trial (Fukushima Gempatsu Keiji Sosho Shiendan) was established, with Saito Kazuyoshi, Iwaki City Councilor, as chair and Muto as vice-chair. With the district court finding the defendants not guilty in September of 2019, the group is preparing for the appeals process. (See their succinct English-language account of the gist and implications of the judgment: Not Guilty: Making Way for the Next Nuclear Disaster.) Muto continues to be involved with groups addressing evacuee needs, contaminated water disposal, and children and health effects, including the 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer. She is the author of numerous articles and two books: Fukushima kara anata e (From Fukushima to you, 2012) and Donguri no mori kara (From the acorn forest, 2014). On the APJ-Japan Focus site, see Muto Ruiko and the Movement of Fukushima Residents to Pursue Criminal Charges against Tepco Executives and Government Officials (July 1, 2012) and Katsuya Hirano’s interview, “We need to recognize this hopeless sight …. To recognize that this horrible crime is what our country is doing to us” (September 1, 2016).