By Mari Iwata
TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. , the utility at the center of Japan’s worst nuclear accident, won government approval Wednesday for a restructuring that will allow it to receive an additional ¥4 trillion ($38 billion) in state funding.
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But the new plan doesn’t offer a clear road map to return the company to financial health as it struggles with the high costs of cleaning up the devastated Fukushima Daiichi plant and paying compensation to those in the area affected by the high level of radiation that has been released.
The plan will also pave the way for the government to start selling part of its 50.1% stake in the mid-2020s. It took the shareholding for ¥1 trillion in 2012 to save Tepco /zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed JP:9501 -3.07% /zigman2/quotes/204529331/delayed TKECF -0.81% from going bankrupt.
An important element of the plan is for the restart of two reactors at another facility in northern Japan, an idea that is facing strong criticism after it became clear the company had failed to take proper precautions at the Fukushima plant, which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.