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    TEPCO President Outlines Compensation Plans

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    The president of the embattled Tokyo Electric Power Company has apologized for Japan's nuclear crisis and promised to do his utmost to secure financing for compensation. The company says they'll pay for the package by streamlining the company and selling off property.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s president, Masataka Shimizu, apologized to the people of Fukushima Prefecture on Friday, saying he was deeply sorry for the nuclear emergency which has forced thousands to evacuate.

    [Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO President]:
    "I would like to extend my heartfelt apologies to the people of Fukushima, especially to those living in the area surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, for having caused great pain both mentally and physically."

    The battered operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said on Friday it will make provisional compensation payments that would cover 50,000 households, totaling around $599 million. This is based on the first batch of provisional payments worth $12,000 to be given to 50,000 households within the 19 mile evacuation radius of the nuclear plant.

    Shimizu told reporters that he plans to finance these massive compensations by streamlining the company.

    TEPCO is also planning on selling $1.2 billion worth of property to pay for compensation, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.

    According to Kyodo news agency, payments from TEPCO will start as early as mid-April to residents living within a 19 mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi facility.

    The operator of the plant which was severely damaged by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11 is battling to contain the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.