It has been revealed that Yoshihiko Noda, then-Minister of Finance, worried about the rapid decline of TEPCO’s share price, said “I want you to refrain from saying things that may weaken (TEPCO)” during the meeting of the nuclear disaster response headquarters on the night of March 31, 2011. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry disclosed multiple memos of the meeting at the information disclosure request from Asahi Shinbun on April 13. [...]Taking the disclosed memos together, Noda as the Minister of Finance told the meeting participants, “If the nationalization of TEPCO is in the news, the share price will hit the stop limit. Of 600,000 shareholders of TEPCO, 590,000 are individual investors and the impact on the economy will be large. I want you to refrain from saying things that may weaken TEPCO”, restraining others from criticizing TEPCO. [...]
Here’s what Asahi’s English-language ‘AJW’ reported the same day:
The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wants to throw the switch on idled nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, a change from his predecessor of reducing the nation’s dependence on nuclear energy.
That departure is best symbolized in the actions of Yukio Edano, the economy, trade and industry minister who oversees the nuclear energy industry. [...]
During his meeting with Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa, Edano said, “When we think about the current situation faced by Japanese society and the economy, there will be a need to utilize nuclear energy, which has provided electricity as a main power source until now, as an important power source in the future.”
Published: April 16th, 2012 at 2:55 am ET