Tepco( Tokyo Electric Power Company)- Japan's previously highly regarded utility company that now faces disaster upon disaster at Fukushima had its annual shareholder meeting today.
Shareholders arrived to demonstrators gathered outside the Tokyo hotel where the meeting was held , and hundreds of riot police were also on hand just in case. More than 9,000 shareholders turned up for the meeting- a record attendance.
The meeting lasted a very lengthy 6 hours and executives from the company were roasted over their fumbling of the nuclear crisis.Since 1989 when the reactor internal pump in Fukushima Daiichi's third reactor broke, a group of shareholders has moved a resolution to abandon nuclear energy every year.About 370 shareholders were part of this group this year> But large institutional shareholders ensured their motion was not successful
The value of shares in Tepco has dropped massively. Currently down about 85% there have been times when they dropped by as much as 95%. More than $36 billion has been wiped off the value of the company since the disaster at Fukushima.
The company was previously regarded as safe and secure so many shareholders have lost a very large amount of money.
One shareholder was so angry that he had to be restrained by security guards as he shouted at the 17 executives on stage that"the only way you can take responsibility is to jump in a reactor and die"
Criticism was intense and one shareholder asked that Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata submit to an unscheduled vote of confidence “If you really felt responsible, you wouldn’t be able to be a chairman today!” Mr. Katsumata took a show of hands, and after concluding that the majority wanted him to continue, proceeded to take the next question.
Compensation for the people who have been killed and displaced by the meltdown has yet to be determined but the Japanese Government may be looking at up to 230billion yen to help Tepco.
Haruka Takita, a 33 year-old cram-school teacher from Koriyama, Fukushima, said she woke up at 4 a.m. to get to Tokyo from Fukushima. “They (Tepco) took away our children’s right to grow up in a clean environment,” she said, “the aspirations of our young adults, and everything that our elders created.”
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