Japan to take control of Tepco in return for bailout

Naomi Hirose
Image caption Tepco said it will appoint Naomi Hirose, who oversees compensation claims, president in June

The Japanese government will take a controlling stake in Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) in return for a one trillion yen ($12.5bn; £7.8bn) taxpayer bailout.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano approved the business plan on Wednesday.

Tepco faces huge clean-up and compensation costs from a disaster at one of its power plants after the earthquake and tsunami last year.

The nationalisation is to avoid a collapse of the company.

Tepco provides power to millions of people in and around Tokyo.

Reactors at its Fukushima power plant melted down in March last year, spreading radiation over a wide area.

Tens of thousands were forced to evacuate and the farming and fishing industries were impacted.

The government will have more than half of Tepco's voting shares, which could allow it to push through reforms at the company.

Earlier this week Tepco announced that managing director Naomi Hirose, who oversees compensation for victims of the Fukushima disaster, will be appointed the new president at a shareholder meeting in June.

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