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Doorstep Interview with Minister Seko (excerpted version)

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

8:15 - 8:20 a.m.
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Front Entrance Hall, METI

Opening Remarks

Let me explain the situation and responses to the blackout caused by the earthquake in Hokkaido.

As for Tomato-atsuma Thermal Power Station, which is the largest thermal power plant in Hokkaido, we halted its operation due to its proximity to the epicenter. As a result, the energy supply-demand balance in Hokkaido region was greatly disrupted, and therefore we were forced to halt operations in all thermal power plants in Hokkaido. Currently 2.95 million houses are without power.

We have now restarted four hydropower stations. Electricity from the four stations is being supplied to the Tomato-atsuma Thermal Power Plant and we are currently working on restarting the Tomato Atsushi Plant.

When the Tomato-atsushi Thermal Power Plant restarts, it will become possible to restart the other thermal power plants in series, and the power outages will be sequentially resolved.

Hokkaido Electric Power Company has not yet made clear within how many hours they can restore power to the affected areas, but the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have ordered them to provide us with an update within a few hours. As for important facilities such as hospitals, we have dispatched power supply vehicles and instructed them to provide power temporarily.

In addition, we are requesting that Hokkaido Electric Power Company disseminate detailed information to the public, including through Twitter, etc. We at METI also will actively disseminate relevant information in a timely manner.

As for city gas, no damage has been reported to those systems as of this moment.

Last updated:2018-11-21