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TEPCO President steps down

05-20-2011 18:33 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

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The president of the company behind the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl says he is stepping down, after reporting the biggest losses in company history. Tokyo Electric Power Cooperation President Masa-taka Shimi-zu offered apologies for the crisis.

The timing of his decision has been questioned as none of the problems have been resolved yet.

Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO President said "With this accident, we damaged the trust of nuclear power generation and caused so much trouble and anxiety. I wanted to take managerial responsibility and bring a symbolic close. So, I am stepping down from the presidency together with the vice president Muto."

Heads of Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) stand during a press conference at TEPCO's headquarters in Tokyo, May 20, 2011. Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) said on Friday its
annual net loss reached 1.25 trillion yen (15 billion U.S. dollars) and its president
Masataka Shimizu said he will step down to take the blame of the Fukushima nuclear
crisis. The troubled utility said it will appoint Managing Director Toshio Nishizawa to
replace Shimizu. (Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki)

Outgoing president of Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) Masataka Shimizu (L) speaks next
to his successor, TEPCO's Managing Director Toshio Nishizawa, during a press conference
at TEPCO's headquarters in Tokyo, May 20, 2011. Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) said on
Friday its annual net loss reached 1.25 trillion yen (15 billion U.S. dollars) and its
president Masataka Shimizu said he will step down to take the blame of the Fukushima
nuclear crisis. The troubled utility said it will appoint Managing Director Toshio
Nishizawa to replace Shimizu. (Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki)

Outgoing president of Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) Masataka
Shimizu bows during a press conference at TEPCO's headquarters
in Tokyo, May 20, 2011. Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) said
on Friday its annual net loss reached 1.25 trillion yen
(15 billion U.S. dollars) and its president Masataka Shimizu
said he will step down to take the blame of the Fukushima
nuclear crisis. The troubled utility said it will appoint
Managing Director Toshio Nishizawa to replace Shimizu.
(Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki)

Efforts to stop leaking radiation and get the reactors under control have been a perilous struggle, and are expected to continue into next year.

The move was widely expected as heads of major Japanese companies are expected to step down, to take responsibility for even lesser scandals and problems.

TEPCO reported that its losses for the fiscal year that ended in March 2011 totaled around 15 billion US dollars. In the previous fiscal year, the company had a profit of nearly 1.6 billion US dollars.

Overall losses from the disaster are expected to be far bigger, including compensation for the thousands of people forced to evacuate their homes around the Fukushima nuclear plant, and businesses such as farms.

TEPCO must also shoulder the costs of resolving the problems at the reactors, as well as restarting other kinds of power plants, which aren't nuclear, to make up for the electricity shortfall.

Meanwhile, Toshio Nishizawa, who is the incoming president of TEPCO, also spoke at the news conference, saying his priority is to contain the accident at the nuclear plant. Nishizawa added that the company will comply to the roadmap and do their utmost to tackle the disaster.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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