• Kyodo

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Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Toshio Nishizawa sought support Friday from local leaders in Niigata Prefecture, home of the utility’s only operating atomic power plant, while apologizing for the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 complex and vowing to create safer nuclear stations.

Nishizawa, accompanied by his predecessor, Masataka Shimizu, told Kashiwazaki Mayor Hiroshi Aida and Kariwa Mayor Hiroo Shinada that Tepco will learn from the lessons of the Fukushima disaster and the deadly quake that struck Niigata in 2007 to build nuclear plants that are “safe and resilient to disasters.”

However, Aida responded by saying: “Residents here feel they are in the same boat as those suffering from the (Fukushima) nuclear accident. I want you to address the situation, including the issue of compensation.”

Meanwhile, in separate talks, Kariwa’s Shinada showed some support, saying that “safety measures are of course important, but a nuclear plant that does not generate electricity is worthless. For local residents, there is value in ensuring the stable operation of the four reactors that are running.”

Speaking to reporters after the meetings, Nishizawa, without elaborating, said Tep-co will stick with its current plan for tsunami countermeasures for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

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