Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, jumped the most in more than a year after a prefecture governor opposing the restart of one of its reactors abandoned his bid for re-election.
Tokyo Electric rose as much as 12 percent to 417 yen, the biggest intraday increase since May 2015, and traded at 394 yen at 9:32 a.m. Tokyo time. The Topix index rose as much as 1 percent.
Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, said he won’t run for a fourth term and dropped out of the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 16, according to a personal statement posted on a website of supporters. Izumida opposed Tokyo Electric’s plan to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the world’s largest facility, located in Niigata prefecture. Local government approval is typically sought by Japanese utilities before they restart nuclear reactors, though not required by law.
With Izumida out of the picture, the chance of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa’s reactors restarting has increased, said Hidetoshi Shioda, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, who views the retirement as a positive for Tokyo Electric shares.
Izumida had demanded that Tokyo Electric further investigate the cause of the triple meltdown at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 before restarting any reactors.
“The next Niigata governor will likely not make as many relentless demands as Izumida,” SMBC’s Shioda said.
Tepco, as the company is known, has applied to restart No. 6 and 7 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. Running one reactor boosts Tepco’s profits by as much as 10 billion yen ($97 million) a month, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Monday.