Hashimoto maintained his stance that KEPCO’s request for voluntary power cuts were not warranted and pose an economic threat, but KEPCO President Makoto Yagi used the talks to continue seeking the governor’s cooperation to reduce electricity consumption.
Hashimoto and Yagi could not reach a compromise, but were in agreement about the need to reduce power use and the governor plans to ask residents to refrain from using air conditioners.
“We just want to somehow make it through the summer,” Hashimoto said.
In the closed meeting in a third-floor conference room at the Osaka Prefectural Government Office, Yagi repeatedly bowed down and begged for Hashimoto’s support, but the Osaka governor’s complete backing was not forthcoming.
“I can’t just nod my head and say ‘all right,’” Hashimoto was reported as saying.
Yagi used the talks that ran over double their scheduled 30 minutes to tell Hashimoto that KEPCO has a duty to provide a stable power supply and asked for the voluntary power reduction only “as a result of a painstaking decision.”
He said KEPCO is working to secure up to about 1.3 million kilowatts of electricity through such sources as thermal generation, but the company could not guarantee this supply, so sought reduced consumption to avoid large-scale blackouts.
Hashimoto, meanwhile, reiterated his stance that blackouts pose a high degree of risk. He asked Yagi if the request for reduced power use came about because KEPCO wanted to restart the nuclear reactors it has currently halted. The governor repeated his demand to KEPCO to cease using nuclear power, but Yagi refused.
“Nuclear power is a cornerstone of stable power supply,” the KEPCO president said.