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New TEPCO head vows change

By JURO OSAWA, Asahi Shimbun News Service


The new president of scandal-ridden Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) vowed Tuesday to rebuild the company's tattered reputation with a stricter safety regime and a continued investigation into its cover-up scandal.

``At the moment, the most important goal for us is to improve nuclear safety and regain trust among the local residents around nuclear plants,'' Tsunehisa Katsumata, 62, told a news conference.

Katsumata, who formally took office the same day, said the nation's largest electric utility had on Tuesday established a nuclear quality management department in its head office, to prevent future misconduct.

When asked what was at the root of the cover-up scandal, Katsumata-the former executive vice president who has led the subsequent in-house probe-said there had been a tendency among employees to take regulatory manuals too lightly.

While flexibility is required to some degree in all companies, he said the nuclear division allows no room for a loose attitude.

``I was really shocked to find out about the cover-ups because I had thought the nuclear division, where the manuals stated what to do in great detail, was the most strict division in terms of following regulations,'' he said.

The new nuclear quality management department will operate independently of the nuclear division, auditing safety management at nuclear plants and providing advice and suggestions.

Asked about the falsification of safety check data at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Katsumata said an outside committee consisting of lawyers, which is currently investigating the case, will release an interim report within a month.

Katsumata also said Vice President Shigemi Tamura, 64, will become company chairman on Oct. 30.(IHT/Asahi: October 16,2002)

(10/16)



■ MORE BUSINESS NEWS
New TEPCO head vows change  (10/16)
Shimadzu to honor Tanaka with research center  (10/16)
FTTH trailing DSL in broadband stakes  (10/14)
BOJ: Use public funds to assist failing banks  (10/12)
Equity:The banks say they have healthy amounts of capital. Too bad much of it doesn't exist.  (10/12)
Corporate tax cuts not likely in FY 2003  (10/12)
Nobel raises question: How to keep innovators  (10/12)
Small firms get help on loan front  (10/12)
Nobel good PR for Shimadzu  (10/11)
Banks' capital takes tumble with share prices  (10/11)
Investors flee fallout as share prices plunge  (10/11)
Toyota targets 10% of Chinese market  (10/10)
Stocks lower the bar again  (10/10)
Anti-deflation drive sparks BOJ fears over autonomy  (10/10)
FSA wants to bring bank capital down to Earth  (10/09)
Whistle-blowers encouraged to sing  (10/09)
Nikkei plunges on Takenaka's remarks  (10/08)
Government leaning toward additional budget  (10/08)
Revenue from road taxes to stay put for time being  (10/08)
Mitsubishi Motors puts the squeeze on dealers  (10/08)
Takenaka urges BOJ to set inflation targets  (10/07)
Cash gifts at funerals simply business as usual  (10/07)
Deposit cap backtrack to carry a price  (10/06)
Next item on bad loan agenda: Dealing with the pain  (10/06)
Dire straits:The market casts a skeptical eye on bad loan disposal measures.  (10/06)


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