Cash-strapped nuclear power company secretly donates 1.54 billion yen to city via The Asahi Shimbun

Japan Atomic Power Co., struggling financially while its nuclear reactors remain offline, still donated 1.54 billion yen ($13.7 million) to a city government and asked that the funds be kept secret, officials said Nov. 1.

The money used for the donations came from fees paid by other power companies, who are under contract to buy electricity from Japan Atomic Power.

Japan Atomic Power has not produced any electricity from its three nuclear reactors since they were shut down following the March 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The company’s requests for secrecy came after criticism arose over why it was still receiving money from the industry for nonexistent electricity.

The city government of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, which hosts Japan Atomic Power’s two-reactor Tsuruga nuclear plant, started receiving donations from the company in 2009, mainly for use in road construction. The city had listed the donations, totaling 440 million yen, on official documents and shown them to the city assembly until March 2012.

At the end of March 2013, Japan Atomic Power donated 850 million yen to Tsuruga city. On May 31 that year, it asked the city not to list the donation on official documents.

The Tokyo-based company also donated 670 million yen in December 2013 and 19 million yen in March 2014. Again, Japan Atomic Power requested secrecy from the city government.

The city complied with the requests.

“We judged that it is not necessary (for the city government) to describe our donations on the official documents,” said an official at Japan Atomic Power.
Harumi Kondaiji, a Tsuruga city assemblywoman, said such nondisclosure was unacceptable.

“It is unforgivable for the city government not to show its citizens where the financial sources of its public works projects come from,” she said.

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