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Japan Subculture Research Center

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Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO): Is it time to turn off the lights?


Jun 29, 2011

“Jump in a nuclear reactor and die!’

Those were the words directed at the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) by one angry man at the tense stockholders meeting held today on June 28. It captured the sentiment of many people in Japan who are demanding the company take responsibility for the meltdown on March 11, at the nuclear power plant TEPCO managed and owns. The meeting inside did not run smoothly but meltdown was avoided. Outside the meeting, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Riot Squad held back the right- and left-wing demonstrators as well as a contingent of anti-nuclear protesters. Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman of the firm offered his apologies. He was re-elected as chairman the same day. He is a very good apologist. In 2003, after it had been widely reported that TEPCO had falsified safety data at dozens of reactors he also spoke for the company saying, “I wish to begin by expressing regret for the recent cases of misconduct at our company, which have eroded public confidence in the nuclear power industry.”

Recent events have not helped restore that public confidence….

東京電力・帝国の暗黒/TEPCO: The Dark Empire was first published in 2007. Few publications would advertise it and it only sold 4,000 copies. Recently reissued after the meltdown(s), it is eerily prescient.

For the rest of the story, please check out the The Atlantic Wire: what matters now. Note: Stephanie Nakajima co-authored the article.

8 thoughts on “Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO): Is it time to turn off the lights?”
  1. Is there a Japanese-language version of this article? If not, would you be willing to translate it and post it in Japanese here?

    Thank you.

  2. excellent article. the last statement especially sparks hope amid the tragedy.

    i want to add one thought though: TEPCO for sure is part of amakudari-cancer. what made me think a little was an interview i saw: a nearby resident to the daiichi, who was merely surprised by his evacuation, since he didn’t knew a nuclear-plant was 5km away for the 15years he lived there.

  3. I’m trying to find an English version of TEPCO: The Dark Empire (東京電力・帝国の暗黒). A search doesn’t turn up any obvious sources online. Any suggestions? Thanks for this and the excellent article.

    1. There isn’t an English version of the book, sorry to say. I’m getting ready to post something on the history of the nuclear industry in Japan which should be helpful.

  4. Thanks for your reply. That would be excellent. I’ll keep an eye out for it but please feel free to post on my FB page (linked to this post) and I’ll do my best to circulate it.

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