Prosecutors in Japan have reportedly decided to accept criminal complaints against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company over the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Sources say the prosecutors made the decision after a government-appointed panel of experts released its final report on the accident on Monday.
About 1,300 people asked prosecutors in Fukushima Prefecture last month to investigate officials who held top positions with the government and the nuclear plant operator. The plaintiffs accuse the officials of professional negligence.
Other groups have filed similar complaints in Tokyo and elsewhere.
The prosecutors have to identify the cause of the accident if they decide to file charges against the officials.
The government panel and 3 other committees that conducted probes were unable to find the cause.
Medical experts say it would be difficult to determine that radioactive materials released from the damaged nuclear plant have inflicted physical harm on residents of Fukushima and other parts of Japan.