Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated Thursday the government will not force Tokyo Electric Power Co. to go bankrupt even though the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a tougher business environment.
TEPCO "should steadily implement compensations, scrap (troubled) reactors, deal with the accumulation of toxic water (at the plant) and ensure a stable electricity supply as it continues to operate as a private company," Abe told a plenary session of the House of Representatives.
He made the comments when two opposition leaders urged the prime minister to liquidate the utility, which is already under government control.
TEPCO's earnings have deteriorated due largely to rising fuel costs as it has boosted thermal power generation to cover the loss of atomic power in the wake of reactor shutdowns throughout the country for safety concerns about the Fukushima crisis.
The company has been also forced to spend on decontamination work in crisis-hit areas and on scrapping the Fukushima reactors that suffered meltdowns, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.