• Kyodo

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Tokyo Electric Power Co. should shoulder part of the costs of the government’s planned purchase of all beef found to contain excessively high radioactive cesium, industry minister Banri Kaieda said Saturday.

Kaieda plans to hold discussions with the utility over compensation for people affected by the nuclear disaster at its Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

“The purchase is part of the compensation for damages from the nuclear disaster, so I want to hear how Tepco intends to pay compensation,” Kaieda said. More than 2,600 cattle suspected of being fed contaminated hay have been shipped to all prefectures except Okinawa as of Saturday.

Kaieda also revealed that Prime Minister Naoto Kan has taken the unusual step of asking the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in writing to release all information about power supply and demand, including untapped electricity sources.

Kaieda said that Kan submitted the written request to the National Policy Unit, suggesting he mistrusts METI’s data that show there is limited private sector power left to tap into.

After METI reported to the prime minister that such untapped electricity amounted to roughly 1.6 million kw as of July 4, Kan asked the ministry to re-examine the data and broaden its scope to include all untapped energy sources.

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