Governor: Why no arrests over crisis?

by Minoru Matsutani

Staff Writer

Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda wants to see Tokyo Electric Power Co. held criminally responsible for the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

At a regular news conference, he sharply criticized the utility and questioned why nobody in Tepco has been arrested.

“Tepco has caused this big trouble to everyone under the sun and nobody has been arrested. I want to ask, ‘Doesn’t anyone (in Tepco) want to turn themselves in?’ ” Ueda said Monday.

He was asked for comments about Tepco raising electricity bills for big users like corporations by 10 to 20 percent in April.

“Some people would be arrested if gas tanks explode or a fire breaks out in a department store,” he said angrily, blaming Tepco for not taking full responsibility for the harm caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. “The procedure of raising power bills without fully explaining it is unacceptable. It is extremely cruel treatment of (big users) who have been forced up to now to cooperate in saving electricity.”