JAPAN | Utilities to be probed for influence peddling

Posted on August 5, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 5 August 2011

Industry minister Banri Kaieda says an independent panel has begun investigating allegations that nuclear safety regulators repeatedly tried to influence public symposiums on the use of nuclear energy.

On Friday, Kaieda told reporters that a third-party task force is looking into claims that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency intervened in town meetings with the help of local power companies.

He said the panel will thoroughly investigate allegations that Chubu and Shikoku electric power companies, under the agency’s instructions, lined up participants and requested that they ask prearranged questions in favor of nuclear power.

He added that Japan’s other major utilities will also be subject to investigations for potentially engaging in similar dubious conduct.

Kaieda said that he wants the task force to propose a set of guidelines on to what extent the government should be involved in organizing public symposiums.

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Posted in: JAPAN