June 26, 2008

Tokyo Electric Power Chief Wants Early Price Hike

Tokyo, June 26 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. needs to raise electricity charges at an early date to cope with falling earnings caused by soaring oil prices, the company's new president said in a recent interview.

Masataka Shimizu, who took over on Thursday, said surging fuel costs have had a considerable impact on the company's earnings.

Considering the rapid pace of oil price increases, it is very important to respond at an early date, he said.

Shimizu said higher power bills will probably affect the public and Japanese industry's competitiveness. But keeping the charges intact could cause instability in electricity supply, he said.

Shimizu said the company's earnings are expected to be worse in the year ending next March than in the previous year when the company posted the first net loss in 28 years.

Shimizu said his company is supportive of the government's plan to start trial carbon trading this autumn if concern about its feasibility and speculative nature is addressed.END

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