|Kansai Denryoku kabushiki gaisha|
|Type||Public (Kabushiki gaisha)|
|Founded||Osaka, Japan (1 May 1951)|
|Headquarters||Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan|
|Revenue||¥2,811,424 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|¥-229,388 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|¥-242,257 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Total assets||¥7,521,352 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Total equity||¥1,529,843 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
Number of employees
|32,961 (consolidated, as of 31 March 2012)|
|Footnotes / references|
The Kansai Electric Power Company, Incorporated (Japanese: 関西電力株式会社, Kansai Denryoku kabushiki gaisha, KEPCO), also known as Kanden (関電), is an electric utility with its operational area of Kansai region, Japan (including the Keihanshin megalopolis).
The Kansai region is Japan's second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors – north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto – supplied almost 50 percent of the region's power. As of January 2012, only one of those reactors was still running. In March 2012, the last reactor was taken off the powergrid.
Kansai Electric Power Company has 164 plants with a total production capacity of 35,760 MW.
|Name||Location||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Name||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Gobō Thermal Power Plant||1,800|
|Name||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Kurobe-4 (Kurobe Dam)||335|
|Others (147 plants)||818|
On 9 August 2004, KEPCO reported that five of its employees were killed by a steam burst in the turbines housing building, at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture. The burst, according to KEPCO, was due to the neglect of mandated safety checks and there was no release of radioactivity.
On 22 March 2006, in Ōi Nuclear Power Plant, at the waste incineration facility area, where ash is packed in steel barrels, a fire broke out. Two workers were admitted to a hospital after inhaling smoke, but not in critical condition. No radiation leakage was monitored.
The Kansai region is Japan's second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors – north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto – supplied almost 50 percent of the region's power. But as of January 2012, only one of those reactors is still running. Meanwhile, power company employees are racing to reassure Japanese that plants are safe and necessary. In 2012, officials from Kansai Electric Power Co., "have gone door to door in towns that host its nuclear plants, conducting polls and answering questions".
Eiji Moriyama, the former deputy mayor of Takahama now deceased, was the primary "fixer" between Kepco and businesses in Takahama. Beginning as early as 1987, Moriyama was a conduit for funneling cash and gifts to Kepco officials in exchange for kickbacks and contracts to real estate and construction-related firms. Moriyama received "consulting fees" for his help.
The earliest indication of the corrupt relations between Kepco and local businesses appeared in a report from the taxation authorities, regarding unreported income on "idle lands". This was followed by a report in 2011 that Kepco had sold scrap metal to a local company at below market value.
In 2012 it was revealed that a member of the town assembly of Takahama, Fukui, Tomio Yamamoto, had received as president of the real estate company OHC Fukui, over 100 million yen for the rent of an unused factory over four years from 2006 to 2010 from a subsidiary of Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) The factory was used for storage, but the rent was unusually high, almost double the market price. The money was apparently paid in return for promoting nuclear power. In September 2010 an opinion statement to reactivate the nuclear reactors was proposed by Akio Awano, the vice speaker of the town assembly. Yamamoto and two other town assembly members did sign the proposal before it was submitted to the assembly.
In 2014, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry cited Kepco for restraint of trade (社宅) in the purchase of transmission line equipment. After review, 240 employees were found to have been involved in the price rigging, and the company dismissed four vice presidents and four executive officers.
Overall, more than 380 cases were discovered where money and gifts had been exchanged for the awarding of contracts to businesses connected to Moriyama, including pay-outs to board members and the company's president. In response to these revelations, Kepco Chairman Makoto Yagi resigned in 2019, and Kepco president Shigeki Iwane resigned in 2020. Takashi Morimoto, executive vice president, became the new president.
In August 2011 citizens of the prefecture Shiga, at the banks of Lake Biwa, started a lawsuit at the Otsu District Court, and asked a court order to prevent the restart of seven reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company, in the prefecture Fukui.
On 27 February 2012 three Kansai cities, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, jointly asked Kansai Electric Power Co. to break its dependence on nuclear power. In a letter to KEPCO they also requested to disclose information on the demand and supply of electricity, and for lower and stable prices. The three cities were stockholders of the plant: Osaka owned 9% of the shares, while Kobe had 3% and Kyoto 0.45%. Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, announced a proposal to minimize the dependence on nuclear power for the shareholders meeting in June 2012.
On 18 March 2012 the city of Osaka decided as largest shareholder of Kansai Electric Power Co, that at the next shareholders-meeting in June 2012 it would demand a series of changes:
In this action Osaka had secured the support of two other cities and shareholders: Kyoto and Kobe, but with their combined voting-rights of 12.5 percent they were not certain of the ultimate outcome, because for this two-thirds of the shareholders would be needed to agree.to revise the corporate charter.
At a meeting held on 10 April 2012 by the "energy strategy council", formed by the city of Osaka and the governments of the prefectures, it became clear that at the end of the fiscal year 2011 some 69 employees of Kansai Electric Power Company were former public servants. "Amakudari" is the Japanese name for this practice: hiring officials that formerly controlled and supervised the firm: among these people were:
Besides this, it became known that Kansai Electric had done about 600 external financial donations, to a total sum of about 1.695 billion yen:
During this meeting some 8 conditions were compiled, that needed to be fulfilled before a restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors Oi Nuclear Power Plant:
On 14 September 2013, the day before the no. 4 Oi reactor was scheduled to closed down for regular inspections, some 9000 demonstrators gathered at the Kameido Chuo Park and later marched close to JR Kinshicho Station and the Tokyo Skytree. They called for an end of Japan's dependency on nuclear power. The day after the Oi-reactor closed down, leaving Japan without any nuclear power for the third time in 40 years.
Over the business year 2011-2012, which ends in March, Kansai Electric Power Co. was expected to suffer a loss of 250 billion yen or more, because of the growing fuel cost for thermal power generation. In the business year 2009 the net loss was 8.7 billion yen.