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Jun 21, 2012

Japan nuclear minister speeds up Fukushima cleanup

TOKYO (Reuters) – Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will begin removing fuel rods from a damaged reactors a year ahead of schedule, a government minister said Thursday, a move to address concerns about the risk of a new quake that could cause a further accident and scatter more radioactive debris.

“We would like to start taking out undamaged fuel this year. Preparation is now under way,” Japan’s nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono, told Reuters in an interview.

Jun 8, 2012

Olympus says tie-up offers under consideration, cuts jobs

TOKYO, June 8 (Reuters) – Japan’s Olympus Corp said
on Friday it is considering tie-up offers from at least five
domestic firms to bolster its precarious capital position, and
will shed jobs and plants, in an attempt to recover from a $1.7
billion accounting scandal.

The president of the medical equipment and camera maker,
Hiroyuki Sasa, said at a briefing Fujifilm, Panasonic
Corp, Sony Corp and Terumo Corp, as
well as at least one other Japanese firm, had made capital
alliance offers but Olympus had made no decision on a deal.

Jun 4, 2012

Japan small factories get creative to keep power on

OSAKA, Japan (Reuters) – In a darkened industrial hangar in eastern Osaka, Yoshihiro Yamanaka is tearing up the rule book that once made Japanese manufacturing the feared global standard of efficiency.

At Fuji Spring, a company with one factory, one product and 18 workers, Yamanaka has dimmed the lights, allowed inventories to pile up and – most strikingly – shut off an automated part of his assembly to do more jobs by hand.

May 18, 2012

Japan seeks 15 pct summer power savings in western region

TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) – Japan urged businesses and
consumers in the western part of the country to cut power use by
15 percent or more this summer to cope with shortages after all
nuclear reactors shut down in the wake of the Fukushima crisis.

The government also said on Friday that it aimed to avoid
rolling blackouts in the region but would need to be prepared
just in case, stopping short of the mandatory limits imposed
last year in eastern Japan.

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.

    • 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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