Japan Passes Law Bailing Out Support to Tepco

Japan’s Parliament passed a law on Wednesday that will allow the use of public funds to shore up the company operating the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and help it pay what is expected to amount to billions of dollars in compensation claims.The law creates a state-backed fund that will pay damages to victims of the disaster at the plant, where three reactors melted down and spewed radiation after cooling systems were lost in the March tsunami and quake. The government will initially pay 2 trillion yen, or nearly $26 billion, into the fund, Banri Kaieda, the trade minister, told lawmakers on Tuesday.Swift compensation payments are vital not only in helping victims, analysts say, but also in helping to kick-start economic growth in the disaster zone. But the sheer size of payments could easily render Tokyo Electric Power, the embattled operator of the plant, insolvent.

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