Shareholders at the nation's nine electric utilities with nuclear power plants have submitted proposals demanding they abolish or reduce their reliance on nuclear energy to generate electricity.
It is the first time that shareholders of all the utilities have sought such action. But the proposals are unlikely to lead to major change in policy because the shareholders represent a small number of total shares, the bulk of which are held by financial institutions and other corporate entities.
The proposals come ahead of annual general shareholders' meetings scheduled to be held by the power companies on June 26. It is the first time that shareholders of all nine major power companies have pushed for a withdrawal from nuclear power since the onset of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
Despite the move, each utility is still planning to restart its nuclear power plants because the government’s basic energy plan calls nuclear power an " important base-load power source."
Shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, demanded that TEPCO review its Comprehensive Special Business Plan.
Since the utility's plan is based on a resumption of operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture in July, shareholders called on TEPCO to change the plan, saying it should “be based on the assumption that all nuclear power plants (in Japan) will not be restarted.”
The Tokyo metropolitan government, which holds a 1.2-percent stake in TEPCO, did not make any proposals to the utility.
In contrast to his predecessor, Naoki Inose, who submitted a shareholder proposal asking for management transparency at TEPCO, Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe chose not to do so.
“It is the central government that decides what to do about TEPCO,” a Tokyo government official said. “(The Tokyo government) won't be making any proposals as a shareholder.”
Elsewhere, the Osaka city government, the top shareholder of Kansai Electric Power Co., submitted a proposal urging the utility to rely more on renewable energy sources and natural gas-fired thermal power, and reduce dependence on nuclear power.
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