TEPCO president resigns, company reports net operating loss

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu resigned May 20. The company has faced allegations that it mishandled the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. He will be replaced by TEPCO Managing Director Toshio Nishizawa, 60.

Click here to see photos released by TEPCO of the tsunami as it hit the nuclear power station.

The resignation came the same day the utility announced $15.3 billion in net losses for the fiscal year that ended in March, due to the earthquake-caused nuclear crisis.

Shimizu said he was stepping down to take personal responsibility for growing criticism of TEPCO's handling of the nuclear crisis. The practice, known as kejime, is common in corporate Japan.

In a statement, TEPCO officials said the financial loss "raises substantial questions about our ability to continue" operations. TEPCO missed making dividend payments for first time since the utility was established in 1951.

Shimizu was scheduled to vacate his post in late June at the company's shareholders meeting, and will become an advisor to the utility.

The company also said it scrapped plans to build two new nuclear reactors at the damaged Fukushima plant. All six reactors at the site will be closed.

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