Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday appointed former lawyer Kazuhiko Shimokobe to become chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).
Noda invited Shimokobe, 64, to his residence to offer the appointment, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said, Fuji TV reported. The government has been looking for a replacement for TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata since late last year, but apparently no one in the private sector wanted the job.
Last August, Shimokobe became chairman of the state-backed Nuclear Disaster Compensation Fund, set up by the government to help TEPCO pay for the disaster, oversee the utility's cost-cutting efforts and evaluate its financial assets.
Shimokobe told reporters that his first task will be to quickly complete a business reform plan which is a condition of TEPCO receiving 1 trillion yen in public funds. He also said that he will replace President Toshio Nishizawa, Fuji reported. However, Shimokobe said he will look for Nishizawa's successor from within the ranks of TEPCO.© Japan Today