「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

風知草:東電、どう変える?=山田孝男

(Mainichi Japan) February 20, 2012
Changing TEPCO in wake of nuclear disaster
風知草:東電、どう変える?=山田孝男

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) President Toshio Nishizawa have clashed over the utility's future, with Edano demanding that TEPCO hand its management rights to the government in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and Nishizawa arguing that private operation of the company should be retained.
Will reforms be forced through by state power, or will they be implemented independently by TEPCO? In this tense situation I think it is TEPCO that has the weaker hand.
 枝野幸男経済産業相(47)が東京電力に「経営権を渡しなさい」と迫り、東電の西沢俊夫社長(60)が「民間のままが望ましい」と粘っている。国家権力による強制的改革か、自主的改革かという攻防だが、東電の分が悪いと私は思う。

 興味深い逸話がある。

The Jan. 22 morning edition of the Nikkei business newspaper's Tokyo edition featured the front-page headline "Smart meters to be introduced by TEPCO in 17 million households -- almost every home."
 日経新聞1月22日朝刊(東京版)の1面トップは「スマートメーター/東電、1700万世帯に導入/ほぼ全家庭に」というニュースだった。

Smart meters are digital power meters that do not simply display the total electricity usage like analog meters, but enable users to constantly check -- and control -- how much power they use. They do not need to be checked by meter inspectors, and have been touted as instruments that could contribute to power conservation while helping cut management costs.
 スマートメーター(smartmeter)はデジタル式の電力メーターである。使用量の累計を示すだけの従来のアナログ式と違い、どれくらい使っているか、利用者は常にチェックし、制御できる。検針員もいらない。省エネと経営コスト削減の切り札になると言われている。

The introduction of smart meters is one of the special features of a comprehensive special business plan that TEPCO will compile next month. But from where the company will acquire these meters remains a point of controversy.
 その導入計画は、東電が来月まとめる総合特別事業計画の目玉の一つである。注目の論点はスマートメーターをどこから調達するかだった。

Under a TEPCO draft, the meters were to be purchased from a group company for 20,000 to 30,000 yen apiece -- despite the fact that the standard price for overseas manufacturers was about 10,000 yen each. Smart meters have already been put to use in the United States, Germany and Canada.
 東電の原案は系列企業から1台2万~3万円の特注機器を300万台調達するというものだった。海外メーカーの標準は1台1万円程度(米、独、カナダが先行)なのに。

At this point, the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund stepped in. The fund is an amalgamated union of members from the public and private sectors backing up TEPCO, amid its financial woes in the wake of the nuclear disaster. To TEPCO, it is like an occupation army. Its stance of seeking nationalization of the utility is no different from that of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
 そこで「原子力損害賠償支援機構」が動いた。これは破綻しかけた東電をバックアップする官民合同組織。東電から見れば占領軍のような存在だ。東電の国有化を探る立場は経産相と同じ。

The fund dismissed the utility's draft -- formed under a "TEPCO village" mentality favoring family companies -- and altered it to allow international bidding. The Nikkei reported the amended plan and the background behind it.
この機構が、ファミリー企業優先の「東電ムラ」感覚の原案を差し止め、国際入札方式に修正した。日経は経緯も含めて修正案を伝えた。

According to those with background knowledge on the amendments, it was around late November or early December last year that TEPCO presented its draft to the liability facilitation fund. It was an urgent report that the company said would be publicly announced two days later. But the fund reportedly fiercely opposed the sudden move, asking TEPCO what on earth it was doing.
 修正の経緯を知る関係者によれば、東電が原案を機構に示したのは昨年11月末か12月初めのこと。それも「あさって発表します」という切羽詰まった通告だった。機構側が「どういうことだ」と反発、激しいやりとりになったという。

Digitalization is convenient, but the system becomes delicate as a result. Furthermore, TEPCO cannot suddenly adopt a ruthless approach toward meter checkers and employees of affiliated companies. Outstanding issues remain, but at the same time, the challenge of overcoming conservatism and efforts to break away from inertia should not be viewed lightly. Isn't this a lesson we have learned from the nuclear disaster that occurred against a backdrop of collusive relationships and slack attitudes?
 デジタル化は便利だが、システムは脆弱(ぜいじゃく)になる。検針員や系列企業の社員の雇用に無慈悲でいいということはない。課題は残るが、旧弊を破る挑戦、惰性を断ち切る努力を軽く見るべきではない。それが、癒着とたるみを背景に起きた原発事故の教訓ではなかったか。

In exchange for formulating a general special business plan, the government is to inject 1 trillion yen into TEPCO. But the minister of economy, trade and industry, setting his sights squarely on the TEPCO president, said Feb. 13 that unless TEPCO gives the government a level of voting rights that correspond to the level of funding, then he has no intention of accepting the business plan while he remains in office.
 総合特別事業計画の策定と引き換えに政府は東電に1兆円出資する。経産相が東電社長を見据え、出資に見合う議決権をくれなければ「私がこの任にある限り(計画を)認定するつもりは全くありません」とタンカを切った(13日)。

"A level corresponding with the level of funding" means a two-thirds share of voting rights at general shareholders meetings. If the government obtains this share, it will be able to realign TEPCO's operations. This enables split handling of TEPCO's power generation and distribution businesses.
 出資に見合うレベルとは株主総会の議決権の3分の2超。それを握れば、政府は東電の事業を再編できる。今は一体の発電と送電を別々に営むこと(発送電分離)もできる。

Some have received this idea in the hope that it will bring life to the economy. Others, however, have criticized it, saying that it could result in an unstable supply of power and end up destroying economic foundations.
 それで経済が活性化するという期待と、電力供給が不安定化して逆に経済基盤を壊すという批判がある。

So is the government aiming to separate the power generation and distribution businesses?
政府は分離を目指すのか。

One government official deeply involved in the process commented, "We have no interest in dogmatic adherence to plans to separate power generation and distribution. What we essentially want to do is review the high economic growth system in which investment in infrastructure surged with the construction of nuclear power plants, and change it to a system suiting an age of power conservation in which no new nuclear power plants are constructed. We think someone should be brought in from outside to head the company (TEPCO)."
渦中の政府関係者に聞くと、こう答えた。
 「教条主義的な発送電分離論に関心はない。原発増設で設備投資が急伸した高度成長の体制を見直し、原発新設ゼロと節電の時代に合う体制に変えることが基本。旗振り役のトップは社外から迎えたい」

I respect Nishizawa for fighting his cause without remuneration, but the limits of internal reform at TEPCO have already become apparent.
 無給で奮闘の西沢社長には頭が下がるが、体制内改革の限界は既に明らかだ。

The Ministry of Finance is opposed to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry acquiring a two-thirds share of voting rights, as it will have to foot the financial bill if those rights are obtained.
 財務省は3分の2の議決権掌握に反対だ。握れば財政負担を迫られるから。

The prime minister, who has his mind set on increasing the consumption tax, has little interest in TEPCO reform. 「増税」一点突破主義の首相は東電改革に関心が薄い。

That may be the case, but at the same time I don't want the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to lose hope.
それが現実だが、経産相にメゲてもらっては困る。

I'm looking forward to seeing the government lead the company forward.
政治主導に期待する。(敬称略)(毎週月曜日掲載)

(By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)
毎日新聞 2012年2月20日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-02-22 04:20 | 英字新聞

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