(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on Wednesday voted to approve a utility's proposal to accept the government's JPY 1 trillion (USD 12.6 billion) capital injection that would effectively nationalize Japan's biggest utility.
At the annual meeting held by TEPCO, the operator of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, shareholders approved the public bailout plan, which will allow the government to control up to 75.84 percent of the cash-strapped utility after the capital injection in July.
But shareholders rejected some other proposals, including those calling for TEPCO's withdrawal from nuclear power generation and scraping its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in central Japan and replace it with a natural gas-fired power plant.
At the outset of the shareholder meeting, TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata apologized for the Fukushima nuclear disaster and vowed to continue cost-cutting measures, compensation to people affected from the nuclear accident in March last year and stable power supply.
The meeting, attended by 4,471 people, was held when TEPCO posts massive losses for the second straight year following the radiation accident.
The public bailout is part of a 10-year restructuring plan to help TEPCO, which faces ballooning compensation costs and huge expenses stemming from scrapping the Fukushima plant's four crippled reactors, which could take more than 30 years. It also relies on relatively expensive fossil-fuel-fired plants to make up for halted nuclear power generation.
The Fukushima nuclear plant, 230 km north of Tokyo, was severely damaged by the magnitude 9.0-earthquake and 15-meter tsunami that devastated the northeastern region.
The twin natural disasters knocked out the plant's cooling systems, causing reactors to overheat and radiation leaks as the world's worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.
The accident has also forced more than 80,000 residents around the plant to evacuate and damaged the agriculture, livestock and fishery industries in the region.