TOKYO - Tokyo Electric Power Co, Japan's biggest utility and the owner of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant, will be taken over by the government after the country's trade minister on Wednesday approved a $12.5 billion capital injection.
The takeover, the details of which have widely reported in recent months, will avert the collapse of Tepco, the supplier of power to almost 45 million people in and around Tokyo.
The injection of 1 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) into Tepco brings the total government support for the company to at least 3.5 trillion yen since the meltdown at Fukushima in March last year. The eventual cost of the nuclear disaster, including compensation and clean-up costs, has been estimated at more than $100 billion.
"Without the state funds, (Tepco) cannot provide a stable supply of electricity and pay for compensation and decommissioning costs," Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said after approving a turnaround plan from the utility that paves the way for an effective takeover.