A new organization that was set up to help Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) implement reforms held its first meeting in Tokyo on Monday. The state-backed entity, which has been set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is tasked with ensuring that TEPCO implements internal reforms and adopts cost-cutting measures.
The supervisory body, headed by former Hitotsubashi University President Takehiko Sugiyama, must approve TEPCO’s plan before the utility can become eligible to receive public funds. Sugiyama said TEPCO expects to submit a reform plan by mid-October.
Launching the body, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano was critical of TEPCO, saying the company’s executives were overpaid and that their salaries should be the same level as public servants, NHK reported. He was also quoted as saying he would not support an increase in electricity rates.
Furthmore, Edano criticized TEPCO for sending out complicated application forms for compensation to displaced residents of Fukushima Prefecture affected by the nuclear crisis.
TEPCO on Sept 12 began procedures to pay compensation to victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident by sending out the 60-page application form, along with a 156-page manual. Since then, TEPCO’s call center has been overwhelmed with complaints, pouring in at a rate of over 3,000 per day, with callers saying that the forms are too difficult to understand.
Edano said TEPCO should simplify the application procedures. He summoned TEPCO executives to the Diet and asked them to consider things from the viewpoint of victims of the nuclear crisis, NHK reported.