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Embattled TEPCO now facing a harsh public backlash   Asahi Shimbun

Some members of the public are expressing their frustrations with Tokyo Electric Power Co. and its employees for the concerns arising from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and rolling blackouts. Because the initial complaints have escalated to threats and harassment, TEPCO has taken measures to protect the safety of its employees.

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The company has a number of dorms for single employees and families in the Tokyo area. Those dorms have taken to applying masking tape over the company name or replacing the sign with one that does not include the company name. An official at the Tokyo branch said, "It is being done to protect our employees and their families."

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According to TEPCO sources, complaints and protests about the nuclear accident and rolling blackouts have flooded the call center the Tokyo branch has set up for phone consultations. Because the number of calls exceeds the capacity to respond, some people have come directly to the call center to complain to employees about failing to take their call. Since March 23, when levels of iodine exceeding safety standards were found in a reservoir for drinking water in Tokyo, protests have been made about concerns about radioactive materials and how TEPCO was planning to assume responsibility.

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Toshiaki Kamei, a professor emeritus at Kansai University who heads the Japan Risk Management Society, said TEPCO bore much of the blame. "The bad response by TEPCO only intensified the concerns among the public," Kamei said. "The public did not initially know what was occurring in the nuclear plant and that led to doubts that, 'They are likely hiding something.' There is a need to release information as it is obtained and explain what is going on."

   

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 10:22:06 PM EST

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