Businesses Returning to Normal in Quake-Affected Sapporo

Economy

Sapporo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Businesses are returning to normal in Sapporo, the capital of the earthquake-hit northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, after the region's main thermal power plant partially resumed operations Wednesday.

With the No. 1 unit at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s <9509> Tomato-Atsuma thermal plant back online, the company withdrew its request for businesses and others to cut their electricity use by 10 pct. The prefecture was left without power after the plant was shut down following the Sept. 6 powerful quake.

Neon signs such as the landmark Nikka Whisky signboard at buildings facing an intersection near Susukino, Sapporo's nightlife district, lit up all at once at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (9 a.m. GMT). The Sapporo TV Tower, a popular tourist spot, was also illuminated.

"We want to showcase to the whole country and world that Sapporo is back to normal," an official of the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed.

Marui Imai Sapporo Main Store, a department store, activated all of its elevators, more than half of whose operations were suspended after the temblor.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press