In Japan, they handle things a little differently. . .

Hiroshi Araki Peter Burg
Kiroshi Araki, former Chairman, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and Peter Burg, Chairman, FirstEnergy.

October 23, 2002

Neighbors of Tokyo Electric Power's nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan, know just what neighbors of Davis-Besse are going through. Like FirstEnergy, Toledo Electric Power has for years failed to report safety problems stemming from cracks in the reactor.

Once these failures were brought to light, however, TEPCO's response was wholly different from that of FirstEnergy. The following statements from recent TEPCO press releases carry a tone of humility unthinkable for a FirstEnergy executive:

"We, TEPCO, would like to express our sincere apologies for causing any concern to those in the vicinity of the nuclear power stations, and to all parties involved," release, Investigation of maintenance work at TEPCO's nuclear power plants, Aug 29, 2002.

"TEPCO would like to express our sincere apologies for damaging public confidence in the company and causing any concern to those in the vicinity of the nuclear power stations, as well as to all the parties involved. TEPCO will make every effort to prevent a recurrence by enhancing transparency and public information disclosure, and restoring confidence in the company and in nuclear power," release, Report on the investigation into inspection and maintenance problems at TEPCO's nuclear power plants, pointed out by General Electric, Sep 17, 2002.

Just nice words? Just a different public-relations style?

Maybe not. Consider the following release from Tokyo Electric Power, reproduced in full below, in which the company board makes the tough management decision:

TEPCO management takes action following maintenance problems at its nuclear power plants

September 2, 2002

TOKYO --- Following the announcement on Friday August 29 concerning problems with maintenance work at its nuclear power plants, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has decided to take action to demonstrate its management responsibility regarding these problems.

TEPCO has begun thorough internal investigations and will complete this process by mid-September. According to the investigations so far completed, it is likely that in some cases TEPCO has actually been involved in the falsification of records.

The following resignations have been announced:

  • Hiroshi Araki will resign as Chairman at the end of September.
  • Nobuya Minami will resign as President by mid-October.
  • Toshiaki Enomoto will resign as Executive Vice President at the end of September.
  • Gaishi Hiraiwa and Shoh Nasu will resign as Counselors at the end of September.
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