TEPCO opens Fukushima HQ to deal with compensation

Japan Today —

Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) on Friday opened a headquarters in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, specifically to deal with paying compensation to victims of the nuclear crisis.

Thus far, the utility has been processing applications and paying compensation from its Tokyo head office, but company officials said the process will function more smoothly with a major office near the front line, Fuji TV reported. Naraha is about 20 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO is using J Village, a former soccer facility, for its headquarters.

Currently, TEPCO has 3,500 employees in Tokyo handling claims for compensation. Those 3,500 plus another 500 staff will be transferred to the new office in Fukushima over the next few months, TEPCO said.

Last month, TEPCO slashed its fiscal-year loss projection, citing asset sales and cost-cutting for the change. The utility said it expects to lose 45 billion yen this year instead of the 160 billion yen initially forecast, although it still faces huge post-disaster compensation costs and higher power generation expenses, despite a government bailout and a price hike.

  • 4

    Onniyama

    It only took nearly two years. Wow! Expediancy at its best. Don`t you just love the bailout AND price hike? Nice that the incompetent are rewarded so well to continue their incompetence.

  • 3

    cwhite

    are these 4,000 full time employees or just part time students reading off a manual or outsourced to some 3rd party call centre?

  • 6

    zichi

    The gov't should be handling the claims for compensation and the payments because it'll be the taxpayer which foots the ¥5+trillion claims.

  • 6

    zichi

    The majority of the nuclear refugees and others, can't move forward with their lives until their compensation claims are paid.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Currently, TEPCO has 3,500 employees in Tokyo handling claims for compensation. Those 3,500 plus another 500 staff will be transferred to the new office in Fukushima over the next few months, TEPCO said.

    TEPCO has over 52,000 full time employees and about 5,000 pt ones. They certainly have the people power to get this operation set up but why have they taken so long and why so close to the exclusion zone?

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    This shows you how incompetent TEPCO is. It took TEPCO over a year to open up the claim HQ in Fukushima. Anyway, I am glad the victims are getting some help they need to move on to a new life.

    Now, the LDP has to convince me why the nuke energy is safe and cheap. I am not convinced at all. Bad idea.

  • 0

    wanderlust

    How much did it cost to build and set up the new Fukushima claims office? How much to move staff up there, pay their costs and allowances, whether temporarily or permanently? Must be enough to have processed and taken care of many refugees in that time.

    And anyone who is familiar with the workings of Japanese bureaucracy knows that claims and questions will always be referred back to 'Head Office' for verification and/ or approval, they'll never let front line staff make big decisions, for fear of establishing precedents that their management will not like...

  • -1

    ushosh123

    Common guys, a little common sense here, the applications don't process themselves, and most certainly the payouts aren't going out unchecked. I don't think anyone would be pleased if they just leave the cash on the floor and let them at it to save a few bucks in processing the claims here. And it would be weird for volunteers to be processing these claims so thats not possible.

    Of course certainly the payout themselves shouldn't be processed by tepco at all, but that is a long gone fact. The gov'nt should be handling the claims but we can't turn back the hands of time. I suppose there is a little benefit to the HQ to be situated in fukushima, but its not much.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I guess most of the complainers here missed the part about claims being handled in Tokyo until now. It's not like the claims are just now being processed. All this article is saying is that the claims center has moved into the prefecture - with all the people who were handling the claims in Tokyo now moving closer to the people who need to file the claims.

    @Wanderlust, they didn't build a new facility. They're using "J-Village, an old soccer facility".

  • 3

    zichi

    There needs to be gov't compensation inspectors to ensure that the bail out money being given to TEPCO to pay the claims is actually reaching the claimants.

  • 1

    Cos

    I don't think anyone would be pleased if they just leave the cash on the floor and let them at it to save a few bucks in processing the claims here.

    I would prefer. I would definitely trust more the victims for dispatching fairly the money than Tepco+politicians.

  • 0

    alliswellinjapan

    What an outrageously embarrassing announcement for TEPCO. With all due respect towards the perseverance and diligence of the people in Tohoku something like this is only possible if not permissible in this country where the "riot" terminology does not seem to exist.

  • 0

    bajhista65

    "Currently, TEPCO has 3,500 employees in Tokyo handling claims for compensation. Those 3,500 plus another 500 staff will be transferred to the new office in Fukushima over the next few months, TEPCO said."

    I wonder why these employees are in Tokyo when the devastated areas and victims affected are in Fukushima and Miyagi prefecture. How can the affected people go to Tokyo to claim for compensation when they are living in just shelters provided.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I wonder why these employees are in Tokyo when the devastated areas and victims affected are in Fukushima and Miyagi prefecture. How can the affected people go to Tokyo to claim for compensation when they are living in just shelters provided.

    Why were the employees in Tokyo? I'll just throw a wild guess out there and say, "Because that's where their offices were? In response to your second question, I would say that that's why TEPCO looked for, found, and converted a facility closer to the affected region.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that if TEPCO had opened an office in Fukushima as soon as people had been evicted, then the conspiracy theorists here would have been screaming that TEPCO OBVIOUSLY knew the disaster was going to happen ahead of time because they had responded so quickly. In the eyes of some people here, TEPCO can't do right no matter WHAT they do.

  • 3

    zichi

    TEPCO has done everything it can to delay the payment of compensation when it started with a 60 page claim form but was forced by the previous gov't to review it and reduce it to something like 20 pages. TEPCO has had a claims office in Fukushima for more than a year to help people with their forms.I expect this is just a larger more staff version.

  • 0

    wanderlust

    From other media sources:

    At an opening ceremony, attended by about 80 executives and employees, Tepco Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe urged redoubled efforts for the reconstruction of Fukushima.

    Wonder how much that cost?

    The utility also plans to give the local headquarters more decision-making authority for its tasks.

    Plans to give more decision-making authority? So what is the point of having it if they cannot make decisions!

  • 0

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    TEPCO opens Fukushima HQ to deal with compensation

    And by "deal with", of course we mean, "fob off".

  • 0

    bajhista65

    @FADAMOR.... "I have a sneaking suspicion that if TEPCO had opened an office in Fukushima as soon as people had been evicted, then the conspiracy theorists here would have been screaming " NOT EXACTLY... The point is..... if they can open a facility now in Fukushima..... what took them time to look and open a facility much earlier to attend to the victims .... I am sure they can.... if there is a will.... there is a way.... did u get the drift Fadamor?

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