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Press Conference by Minister Seko (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purpose only.

10:11 - 10:30 a.m.
Friday, September 7, 2018
Press Conference Room, METI

Opening Remarks

Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake

Regarding the earthquake which occurred in Hokkaido yesterday, I would like to express my sincerest, heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of those who passed away, and to the affected people.

Through Hokkaido Electric Power's overnight efforts for restoration, they have restarted Naie Thermal Power Station Unit No. 1, capable of producing 175 thousand kilowatts and Shiriuchi Thermal Power Station Unit No. 1, capable of producing 350 thousand kilowatts. We have so far secured 1.89 million kilowatts of supply capacity. As a result, transmission of electricity in Asahikawa, Sapporo, Tomakomai and Nayoro area has been restarted. Power has been restored to 1.4 million houses, so the total number of houses without power has currently decreased to 1.55 million houses.

Today we will continue working towards restarting other plants including Date Thermal Power Station Unit 1 and 2 which are together capable of producing 700 thousand kilowatts. If a supply of approximately 3 million kilowatts can be secured, the number of houses without power will be reduced by approximately 2.4 million houses, meaning the total number of blackouts will fall to 550 thousand houses.

As for restarting Tomato-atsuma Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 1.65 million kilowatts, it is expected to take at least one week. Therefore we are currently dispatching power supply vehicles to important facilities such as hospitals, based on the requests by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In addition to Hokkaido Electric Power's 25 vehicles, 20 vehicles from Tohoku Electric Power Co. and TEPCO have already arrived in Hokkaido, and 34 vehicles are scheduled to be newly added by the end of the day today.

We will make our utmost efforts to restart power plants, but in order to make it possible to supply electricity to as many areas as possible, we are asking the residents living in the areas where electricity supply has been restored to make best efforts to conserve electricity.

As for concrete methods of conserving electricity, until the power supply is perfectly restored, lighting in shops and offices should be reduced to the greatest degree possible. At home, families should try to spend time in the same room to avoid extra use of electricity. Household electric appliances that are not in use should be unplugged. I would like to ask you to take such actions. I understand that these actions represent significant inconveniences, but I would like to make sure that the power supply can be restored to as many areas as possible, through these power-conservation efforts.

Last updated:2018-09-07