Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Japan: a law to help TEPCO to pay

The Government of Japan has approved a law on economic assistance to the operator of the plant in Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) to address the claims millions of victims of the nuclear crisis. The law, which must be ratified by the Diet (parliament) before its entry into force, provides for the creation of an entity that financially assist TEPCO to take compensation for the disaster and to its loss of value on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

TEPCO announced last April a first compensation package for about 48,000 homes at a distance of 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant, which will involve an outlay of about 50,000 billion yen (432 million euros). The Government hopes that the Diet of the green light to the plan to guarantee payment to the victims of millions compensation, maintenance of supply and to dispel uncertainty about the future of Japan's biggest utility, Kyodo news agency reported.

The passage of the law raises doubts in Parliament by the possibility that assistance involves increases in electricity rates and the instability of the current government of Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who faces growing pressure to resign immediately.

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