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Wednesday, 31st July 2013
In General Japan News,

Tepco reports rise in profits despite mistrust of company

Despite recent bad press surrounding the business, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has reported a rise in profits for the period from April to June.

Tepco is the company which operates the Fukushima plant which was badly damaged following the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Following the disaster, some of the reactors at the plant went into meltdown and there were hydrogen explosions which led to radiation leaking into the sea and air surrounding the buildings.

The company was criticised at the time for its response to the event, which was deemed heavy-handed.

Recently it got into hot water once more, when it denied - and was subsequently was forced to admit - that radioactive water had in fact leaked from the plant into the ocean.

So, it is perhaps surprising to learn that the company which has such a chequered history was able to report a group net profit of 437.93 billion yen (£3bn).

The utility has been struggling in the wake of the disaster as none of the reactors at the plant are working because of concerns regarding safety. Reuters recently reported that nearly all of Tepco's nuclear power plants remain out of operation.

The country is therefore reeling under the cost of expensive imported fuels.

According to the company's figures, it has experienced a rise in revenue of 9.8 per cent.

On its website, Tepco states that it is "determined to fulfil all [its] responsibilities for the nuclear power accident and achieve the revitalisation of Fukushima". It goes on to state that it is committed to putting "the upmost effort into the compensation payouts, decommissioning, decontamination and revitalisation of Fukushima".

Despite the protestations of its efforts, some believe that the company is still struggling with an image problem.

Reuters quoted a former researcher at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute who suggested that there was a trust issue surrounding Tepco.

Atsushi Kasai, said: "They let people know about the good things and hide the bad things. This culture of cover up hasn't changed since the disaster."

Written by  Susan Ballion  

Related news stories:
Tepco seeks help with Fukushima cleanup (20th August 2013)