Police to Send 150 Officers, Riot Squads to Tepco Meeting

Police to Send 150 Officers, Riot Squads to Tepco Meeting
Farmers from Fukushima prefecture protest outside the Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters in Tokyo on April 26, 2011. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Japan’s National Police Agency will send 150 officers and riot squads to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s annual general meeting this month to quell possible protests by shareholders and terror attacks, a police official said.

About 7,000 shareholders are expected to attend the June 28 meeting, said the official, who declined to be identified, citing the agency’s policy. Residents from Fukushima, where Tokyo Electric’s crippled nuclear plant lies, may stage demonstrations, the official said. Officers and riot police will be stationed around the Prince Park Tower Tokyo Hotel, the venue for the shareholder meeting, the official said.

Tokyo Electric’s stock has slumped 92 percent, erasing 3.2 trillion yen ($40 billion) in market value, since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. The disaster at the Fukushima nuclear station displaced 50,000 households in the evacuation zone because of radiation leaks into the air, soil and sea.

“It’s going to be a stormy meeting,” said Tomoko Murakami, a nuclear researcher at the Institute of Energy Economics in Tokyo. “The meeting will likely continue for hours and hours as individual investors will have a lot to say.”

The utility known as Tepco had about 747,000 registered shareholders as of March 31. Last year, 3,342 shareholders turned up for the meeting, said Takashi Kurita, a Tepco spokesman. The longest shareholders’ meeting lasted 3 hours and 42 minutes in 1999, he said. Tepco is in talks with police on security, Kurita said, without elaborating.

The Atago Police Station near the hotel normally sends about five officers to shareholder meetings, the police official said.

Safety Precautions

“We’ve been discussing with Tepco and police authorities about safety precautions at the event,” said Atsushi Mori, an official in charge of marketing at the Prince Park Tower. “We will pay full attention to prevent any trouble.”

According to documents sent to its shareholders today, Tepco said 402 shareholders will propose a motion to ask the company to decommission its existing nuclear plants and promise it won’t build new atomic stations. The company plans to disagree with the proposal, the documents said.

“In the long run, it’s better to have nuclear power,” Murakami said. “The shareholders must realize that they shouldn’t be too emotional.”

Tepco’s share price fell 1 percent to a record low of 190 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.