Foreign Policy Blogs

Gov't may help TEPCO pay damages

The Japanese government said Saturday that they may help Tokyo Electric Power Co. pay for damages caused by the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was crippled after the March 11 quake and tsunami, in the event that the company’s survival is at stake.

The amount of compensation may be limited in consideration of the public outcry compensating the unpopular utility may incur.

The day before the government’s announcement, Fukushima governor Yuhei Sato said TEPCO will not be allowed to resume operations at the Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after a 15-minute meeting with TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu. Sato demanded TEPCO pay damages not only to farmers and fishermen whose livelihoods have been hurt by the nuclear crisis, but also to manufacturers and the tourism industry.

Yuko Endo, mayor of Kawauchi, Fukushima, told Shimizu, “Agricultural and livestock industries flourish in our village. I ask for your long-term compensation for us as it will take time for our village to return to what it should be.”

Shimizu responded, “I’ll take what you say seriously.”

Shimizu suggested Friday he would step down at an appropriate time to take responsibility for the disaster, as I predicted last Monday.

I don’t think it is fair to Japan’s taxpayers that they may have to help foot the bill for TEPCO’s incompetence, but on the other hand, the people affected by the disaster need to get a sense of normalcy back in their lives, and the government has a responsibility to the people.



Dustin Dye

Dustin Dye is the author of the YAKUZA DYNASTY series, available through the Amazon Kindle.

He lived in Okayama, Japan, where he taught English at a junior high school through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for three years. He is a graduate from the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

His interest in Japan began in elementary school after seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah, the three-headed monster. But it wasn't until he discovered Akira Kurosawa's films through their spaghetti Western remakes that he truly became fascinated in the people and culture of Japan.

He lives in Kansas with his wife, daughter and guinea pig.

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E-mail him: [email protected]