Readings, Thoughts




I am currently reading the book I cited 2 articles ago in order to organize my thoughts in regards to the post-Fukushima return policy. And I couldn’t help but write a few words about this paragraph. It basically says that in October 2015, the total amount of reparations paid by TEPCO was 5 trillion yens. Part of it has been paid by the state and TEPCO will have to pay it back from now on (as it is actually planed in Japanese nuclear-related laws). Therefore, the cost of reparations will be supported by TEPCO’s clients, meaning Japanese citizens.

I remember how shocked I was the first time I read these few sentences. I thought to myself: “Basically, TEPCO cannot go bankrupt simply because it has to pay reparations to its victims, but at the same time, it is just earning money by raising prices and making other Japanese people pay.” Once you think about it, it is pretty clear and obvious that it would end up that way (TEPCO makes money by selling electricity after all, may it be a nuclear accident or not). And even if TEPCO was not to pay back, the state would have to raise taxes in order to deal with the huge debt it created. The difference that it would make would be that in the case of taxes, all Japanese people would pay for reparations, while in the case of TEPCO, only the customers will be bearing the burden. What is preferable, huh?


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