Kansai Elec Ordered to Improve Biz over Gift Scandal

Politics Economy

Tokyo, March 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's industry ministry issued on Monday a business improvement order to Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503> over a high-profile gift scandal involving senior officials of the power supplier.

The order, issued under the electricity business act, came as the ministry concluded that the company needs to strengthen its corporate governance and compliance systems.

The ministry ordered the company, based in the western Japan city of Osaka, to drastically review its management system under the initiative of outside personnel.

Taizo Takahashi, head of the ministry's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, summoned Kansai Electric President Takashi Morimoto and ordered the firm to submit a business improvement plan by the end of this month. It was the first time for a major Japanese power supplier to get a business improvement order over a legal compliance problem.

According to a final report submitted to Kansai Electric by a third-party investigation panel on Saturday, 37 officials of the firm and others received cash and gifts worth a total of 360 million yen from Eiji Moriyama, former deputy mayor of the town of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. The town hosts the firm's Takahama nuclear power station.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press