Japan: Nod to nuclear disaster compensation bill
Tokyo: The government of Japan on Wednesday
submitted to parliament a bill to help Tokyo Electric Power
Company(TEPCO) meet its massive compensation payments through
the creation of an entity that would provide financial
assistance to the company in the wake of the crisis at the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
By creating an entity that can receive funds through a
special type of government bond and contributions from
utilities, the government hopes to ensure swift payment of
compensation for the country`s worst radiation-leaking
accident, which may total trillions of yen.
The bill was endorsed by the Cabinet before it was
submitted to the Diet.
But the outlook for the bill`s early passage in the Diet
is uncertain amid political confusion caused by Prime Minister
Naoto Kan`s announcement that he will resign in the near
future, while the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party is
preparing a counterproposal.
Industry minister Banri Kaieda, who is also in charge of
economic damage stemming from the nuclear disaster, said the
government will try as much as possible to prevent the
compensation scheme from leading utilities to pass on the
costs to consumers through higher electric bills.
Under the proposed legislation, the new institution would
be allocated a type of bond from the government that carries
no interest and which can be cashed when necessary so that it
can secure funding to support TEPCO.
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