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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

TEPCO after public trust

June 28, 2012

TEPCO's new chairman promises reform



The new Chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company says he will push to reform management to regain public trust following last year's Fukushima nuclear accident.

Kazuhiko Shimokobe spoke at a news conference on Thursday, one day after his appointment as TEPCO chairman at a shareholders meeting.

Shimokobe said TEPCO is a huge monopoly and has failed to pay much attention to customers' needs.

He said he will make sure TEPCO listens carefully to outside criticism of its corporate culture and that every TEPCO employee takes customers' needs into account.

TEPCO has been criticized not just for its handling of last year's accident but also for unilaterally imposing price increases.

Shimokobe is a 64-year-old lawyer. He served as chairman of the government-backed Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund that helped TEPCO compensate victims of the disaster.

Shimokobe said it would be very hard for TEPCO to restart idled reactors at its nuclear plant in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata without consent from the local community.

But he said he is keenly aware of the harsh reality that a significant delay in the planned resumption early next year would adversely affect electricity supply. He added that at the moment, he is not considering asking for higher electricity rates if the reactors are not restarted as planned.

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