Edano says TEPCO must survive


Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano

TOKYO (majirox news) — Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano said Oct. 2 that the beleaguered Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) must be kept operating so it can compensate victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“The only option to make TEPCO compensate victims ahead of the banks holding its collateral is not to have it liquidated, but keep it running while it pays,” Edano told a group of his supporters in Saitama.

Edano told the group that Japan’s Civil Code gave collateral holders priority over payment of any compensation claims.

“If banks exercise their right to claim collateral against TEPCO, they’ll take away all the money,” the METI minister said. “There’ll be almost nothing left to use to pay compensation.”

Edano was non-committal regarding suggestions of breaking TEPCO up into different companies, one for power generation and the other for power supply.

“I’m undecided on this,” he said. “I want to debate this from a base of zero.”

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