TEPCO shareholders approve government bailout

The power company behind Japans nuclear crisis got support from shareholders Wednesday for a decision to take 1 trillion yen $12.6 billion in public funds that effectively nationalizes the utility.

Meanwhile, activist shareholders including the Tokyo city government demanded more restructuring and safety improvements from Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Outgoing TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata told more than 4,000 shareholders who gathered at a national gymnasium in downtown Tokyo that the utility desperately needs taxpayer money to avoid insolvency. It faces huge compensation and cleanup bills.

“We are cutting to the bone to restructure,” he said, as shareholders yelled at him, criticizing him as clinging to the top post for more than a year after the crisis. Katsumata will be replaced by Kazuhiko Shimokobe, a lawyer who headed the companys restructuring plans.

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Japan’s Yukio Edano denies Tepco bailout claim

Japan’s trade minister Yukio Edano has denied reports that troubled nuclear firm Tepco is about to receive a huge government bailout.

Mr Edano said Tepco, which runs the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, had made no requests for public money.

Reports said the government would buy about 1tn yen ($12.9bn; £8.2bn) of Tepco shares next year – which would in effect nationalise the firm.

Tepco shares plummeted on Thursday, ending the day down more than 11%

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Japan OKs plan to give $11.5 billion in aid to TEPCO nuclear plant operator

Japans government Friday approved spending $11.5 billion of public money to help the operator of the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant decontaminiate the site and dismantle the reactors.

Japans nuclear minister, Goshi Hosono, says the aid is meant as a preliminary installment to help cash-strapped Tokyo Electric Power Co. cover the massive cost of the work.

The 900 billion yen comes from the fund made up of all Japanese nuclear plant operators and the government.

Read the rest of the story: Japan OKs plan to give $11.5 billion in aid to tsunami-hit nuclear plant operator.