Tepco eyes more cash for Fukushima payouts

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TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will ask for more public money to pay compensation, a report said on Friday, taking its total cash handouts to an eye-watering $38 billion.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) will go cap-in-hand to a government-backed fund asking for further help to meet payout demands that continue to swell two years after the tsunami-sparked crisis, the Nikkei daily reported.

Tepco will request additional aid to the tune of more than 600 billion yen ($5.9 billion) as early as Friday, the daily said.

If approved, the government’s total aid to Tepco thus far would be around 3.9 trillion yen ($38 billion). The figure is a little under the equivalent of one percent of Japan’s Gross Domestic Product.

The utility has found itself in need of the money because of growing compensation claims from those forced to leave their homes, or whose businesses were affected by the meltdowns at Fukushima in March 2011.

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