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LA Times: Embattled Japan utility chief resigns

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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 12:01 PM
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LA Times: Embattled Japan utility chief resigns
Accused of mishandling the post-quake nuclear disaster, Masataka Shimizu steps down on the same day Tepco announces $15.3 billion in net losses.

Reporting from Tokyo
Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu resigned Friday in the face of increasing allegations that the utility has mishandled the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The resignation came on the same day that the troubled utility announced $15.3 billion in net losses for the fiscal year that ended in March, due to the nuclear disaster that spewed radioactive isotopes into the air, soil and sea and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents in northeast Japan.

Reporters had been asking for months when Shimizu planned to step down. The graying, bespectacled corporate leader had hinted at the possibility this summer. In March, days after the disaster, Shimizu, 66, reported that he suffered dizziness and high blood pressure "through overwork" for several days. He later recovered, the company reported at the time.

Shimizu said he was stepping down to take personal responsibility for growing criticism of Tepco's handling of the nuclear crisis, which many have compared to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
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