National

Kepco to disclose names of 20 executives involved in Fukui nuclear scandal

JIJI, Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. plans to disclose the names of 20 executives who received money and goods from a former deputy mayor of a town that hosted one of its nuclear plants, a top executive at the firm said Sunday.

The company, also known as Kepco, will make public the amount of money and goods that each of the 20 executives received from Eiji Moriyama, the late deputy mayor of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, the top executive said.

Kepco announced Monday that President Shigeki Iwane and Chairman Makoto Yagi would hold a news conference on Wednesday. Information “will be disclosed as much as possible to dispel concerns” about the matter, the top executive said.

At the news conference, the company is also expected to discuss its plans to set up an investigation panel to check whether similar cases exist in departments other than those related to nuclear power plants, sources familiar with the matter said.

Yagi told reporters on Saturday that he received gift certificates from Moriyama between 2006 and 2010 while he was acting chief of the nuclear power operations headquarters.

Yagi said he was unable to return the gift certificates until last year out of fears it might anger Moriyama. “I was relieved to return them,” Yagi said.

Yagi’s comments differed from the explanation given by Iwane at a news conference on Friday, according to which Yagi, Iwane and 18 other executives had received money and goods worth ¥320 million from Moriyama between February 2011 and February last year.

The company also withheld the names of the 18 others and the amount of money and goods that each of them received, drawing criticism for not disclosing sufficient information.

The Kepco executives who received the money and goods from Moriyama were mainly those in charge of nuclear power operations, according to Friday’s announcement. The town hosts the Takahama nuclear power plant.

Sources said Sunday that Moriyama visited the executives directly at the company’s nuclear power operations headquarters in the town of Mihama, also in Fukui, or its Kyoto branch to hand over the money and goods.

Moriyama was hired by the Takahama Municipal Government in 1969 and led efforts to bring a nuclear plant to the town, sources familiar with the situation said. He was promoted to deputy mayor in 1977. Even after retiring in 1987, he held talks with Kepco executives as de facto leader of the local community, the sources said.

Investigations by tax authorities found that Moriyama — who died at age 90 in March this year — received a ¥300 million commission from a local construction company that was hired for projects at the Takahama nuclear complex, according to sources.

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