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May 14, 2012

Japan assembly agrees to restart reactors, hurdles remain

TOKYO, May 14 (Reuters) – The assembly in a western Japanese
town that hosts a nuclear plant agreed on Monday it was
necessary to restart two off-line reactors, its chairman said,
the first such nod since all the country’s stations were halted
after the Fukushima crisis.

With power shortages looming in the region when demand peaks
this summer, the central government has been trying to win
approval from towns and prefectures that host reactors. All 50
reactors are off-line since the last one shut down for
maintenance on May 5.

May 10, 2012

Olympus results leave open capital-raising possibility

TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) – Olympus Corp reported on
Thursday a key measure of capital cushion that was way below
levels considered healthy, keeping alive the possibility that
the scandal-tainted Japanese camera and endoscope maker may seek
to raise funds.

The company, valued at around $3.9 billion, is now under new
management, led by former engineer Hiroyuki Sasa, after
shareholders approved a new board in April to restore Olympus’
tarnished reputation following last year’s $1.7 billion
accounting scandal.

May 9, 2012

Japan to take over Tepco after Fukushima disaster

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s biggest utility and the owner of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant, will be taken over by the government after the country’s trade minister on Wednesday approved a $12.5 billion capital injection.

The takeover, the details of which have widely reported in recent months, will avert the collapse of Tepco, the supplier of power to almost 45 million people in and around Tokyo.

May 9, 2012

Japan to take control of Tepco after Fukushima crisis

TOKYO, May 9 (Reuters) – Japanese Trade Minister Yukio Edano
approved on Wednesday a business turnaround plan for Tokyo
Electric Power Co, the owner of the crippled Fukushima
nuclear plant, paving the way for the utility to be nationalised
in return for a 1 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) bailout.

A government takeover will avert the collapse of Tepco,
which supplies power to almost 45 million people in and around
Tokyo, and allows the state to push though reforms at a company
that downplayed the risks of natural disasters at its nuclear
stations and covered up safety lapses.

Apr 23, 2012

Japan’s Kansai Elec sees summer shortfall without reactors

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) – Kansai Electric Power Co, the
Japanese utility most reliant on nuclear energy, might face a
power shortage of about 20 percent in July unless it can restart
reactors taken offline after the Fukushima crisis amid safety
concerns, the company warned on Monday.

Kansai Electric’s expected deficit was the highest among
four Japanese nuclear plant operators that forecast shortfalls
for the summer, when demand peaks.

Apr 20, 2012

Olympus eyes fresh start, ex-CEO mulls legal threat

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shareholders of Olympus Corp (7733.T: Quote, Profile, Research) approved a new board on Friday, hoping for a fresh start at the camera and medical device maker that hid $1.7 billion of investment losses in Japan’s biggest corporate scandal in decades.

At a sometimes rowdy extraordinary meeting in a Tokyo hotel, local institutional investors and Olympus’ lenders and suppliers voted for a new management slate and approved five years’ worth of restated company accounts.

Apr 20, 2012

Lining up new board, Olympus hopes for fresh start

TOKYO (Reuters) – Six months after the biggest scandal in corporate Japan for decades, shareholders of Olympus Corp (7733.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) were set on Friday to vote in a new board that will cement ties with its bankers but raise questions among foreign investors over whether any lessons have been learnt.

At an extraordinary meeting, which some hope will draw a line under the scandal, Japanese institutions and Olympus’ lenders, suppliers and customers were expected to approve a raft of restated financial accounts and new management put forward by the current, discredited board, all 11 of whom are standing down.

Apr 19, 2012

Japan bailout official accepts Tepco chairman job

TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) – The months-long hunt for the
next chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co ended on
Thursday after Kazuhiko Shimokobe, a lawyer with expertise in
turning around businesses and a member of the bailout body for
the firm, accepted an offer to run the operator of the crippled
Fukushima nuclear plant.

The decision paves the way for Tokyo Electric (Tepco) and
the government-backed bailout body to submit this month a
delayed business turnaround plan, which will outline how the
utility aims to revive its business in return for one of Japan’s
biggest public bailouts outside the banking sector.

Apr 17, 2012

Japan to be without nuclear power after May 5

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will within weeks have no nuclear power for the first time in more than 40 years, after the trade minister said two reactors idled after the Fukushima disaster would not be back online before the last one currently operating is shut down.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano signaled it would take at least several weeks before the government, keen to avoid a power crunch, can give a final go-ahead to restarts, meaning Japan is set on May 6 to mark its first nuclear power-free day since 1970.

Apr 13, 2012

Japan declares two idled reactors safe to restart

TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) – Two idled Japanese nuclear
reactors have been declared safe and will need to be restarted
to avoid a summer power crunch in western Japan, the trade
minister said on Friday, a step towards the first restart in
Japan since last year’s Fukushima crisis.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano also said that he will visit
Fukui prefecture, host to the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai
Electric Power Co’s Ohi nuclear power plant, on
Saturday to meet with the governor and Ohi town mayor and to
convince them of the necessity for the restarts.

    • About Yoko

      "Based in Tokyo since 2007, I have been covering politics in the world's third-biggest economy, as well as Japan's nuclear disaster, energy issues and diplomacy."
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