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Utility Reform Eluding Japan After Nuclear Plant Disaster via The New York Times

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Published: November 17, 2011

TOKYO — In a direct act of rebellion against Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the local government in Tokyo is moving swiftly to build a huge natural gas facility that would generate as much electricity as a nuclear reactor.

Toshio Nishizawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Company, denied that the company wielded too much power.

The plant would ensure a stable supply of electricity for the capital in the aftermath of the nuclear meltdowns in March at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. But more important, the city government says, it could spur desperately needed change in Japan. By weakening Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, reformers hope to finally break the linchpin of the collusion between business and government that once drove Japan’s rapid postwar rise, but that now keeps it mired in stagnation.

“Now’s our chance,” said Naoki Inose, Tokyo’s vice governor, invoking an ancient proverb about attacking a wild dog only after it has fallen into a river: “On March 11, Tepco became the dog that fell into the river. Only then can you fight against such a formidable foe.”

So formidable a foe, in fact, that just eight months after Japanese leaders vowed the nuclear disaster — like the end of World War II — would lead to a kind of rebirth, the chances for fundamental change are rapidly slipping away.

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  1. Priscilla Judd says

    Who said that TEPCO was allowed to pollute my air in Canada without being held to account?? It is outrageous that this worldwide Corporate disaster , has been allowed to continue unabated. Who said a corporation was allowed to kill our planet? If a person did this they would be executed – this corporation should be given the death penalty by lethal injection of plutonium – (Kill the company -not the human people) get the meltdown stopped! No More Nuclear!



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