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2012年7月 2日 (月)

電力株主総会―自治体の提案を生かせ

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 26
EDITORIAL: Power companies must heed shareholder proposals from local governments
電力株主総会―自治体の提案を生かせ

Those of Kansai Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are drawing much attention because some local governments that hold shares in the utilities are demanding a greater say in their management and policies. Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka city, is among those local government heads who will attend the meetings to explain their ideas. Osaka city is KEPCO's largest shareholder.
 原発をもつ9電力会社の株主総会が27日に開かれる。
 注目は、株を保有する自治体が議案を出した関西電力と東京電力だ。関電の筆頭株主である大阪市の橋下徹市長ら自治体の首脳が総会に出席し、提案の内容を説明する。

The meetings offer a precious opportunity for the representatives of areas that are big users of electricity to directly express their views to top executives of the utilities about the way the firms are managed. Clearly, the companies need to ensure that serious and constructive debate takes place rather than simply advancing the proceedings in a mechanical way.
 大消費地の代表が直接、電力会社の経営にものをいう貴重な機会だ。機械的な議事進行ではなく、主張をぶつけ合う緊張感のあるやりとりを期待する。

The cities of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto have proposed that KEPCO stop providing electricity generated by nuclear power.
 関電には大阪、神戸、京都の3市がいずれも脱原発を提案している。

Osaka is urging the utility to change its Articles of Incorporation to commit itself to closing down all its nuclear power plants as soon as possible. In similar proposals, Kyoto and Kobe say the company should pledge in the document to establish a "sustainable power supply system that is not dependent on nuclear power generation."
 大阪市は「可及的速やかな全原発の廃止」、京都、神戸両市は「原発に依存しない持続可能な電力供給体制」という表現で定款の変更を迫る。

In notices of the annual shareholders meeting sent out to shareholders, the utility expressed its opposition to these proposals. Japan's energy self-sufficiency rate is just 4 percent. The company argues that Japan will be left vulnerable if it becomes too dependent on fossil fuels.
 関電は株主に送った招集通知で「日本のエネルギー自給率は4%であり、化石燃料への過度の依存はリスクがある」と反対姿勢を示している。

The financial institutions that together own 30 percent of the utility are also expected to oppose the proposals. This is because the company would keep losing money if it closed its nuclear power plants, causing it to cut its dividends.
 株式の3割を占める金融機関も、原発を動かさなければ赤字が続き、配当減は避けられないため、反対する見通しだ。

But the proposals from local government chiefs who represent more than 4 million voters in the three cities carry considerable weight.
 しかし、3市で400万人をこす有権者の代表からの提案は重い。

The utility should realize that public opinion is forcefully pushing for a shift in its management strategy toward a society that is not dependent on nuclear energy. If it diversified its power sources, KEPCO would be in a position to strengthen its mid- and long-term management, thereby serving the interests of its shareholders.
 原発に依存しない社会へ向けて、経営の転換を求める強い世論があると受けとめるべきだ。電源の多様化は中長期的な経営体質の強化につながり、株主利益にもつながる。

The three Kansai cities have also jointly proposed measures to inject greater transparency into the utility’s management. This includes disclosure of individual board members' salaries. They are also calling on the company to separate its power generation and transmission operations. All these arguments are based on the viewpoint of electricity users.
 さらに3市は、経営の透明性確保や役員報酬の個別開示を共同提案したほか、発送電分離を求める議案もある。いずれも利用者の視点に立った主張だ。

Irrespective of whether the ideas are approved at the meeting, KEPCO has a duty to pay serious attention to the proposals and opinions that are presented.
 議案の採否にかかわらず、関電には提案や総会での意見を経営に生かす責任がある。

Institutional investors that are opposed to the proposals should be aware that their actions are being closely watched by the public.
 反対する機関投資家も、社会が注視していることを強く意識してほしい。

TEPCO's shareholders meeting will be attended by Naoki Inose, vice governor of Tokyo.
 東電の総会には、東京都の猪瀬直樹副知事が出席する。

Inose has been behind the metropolitan government's move to reduce its reliance on the utility. He has cited TEPCO's "family companies" as a problem in relation to its planned rate hikes and asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to supply power to the capital.
 猪瀬氏は東電の値上げをめぐってファミリー企業の問題を指摘したり、都として中部電力に電力供給を求めたりと、「脱東電」をはかってきた。

The metropolitan government has announced four proposals for the meeting and is urging other shareholders to support them. One calls on TEPCO to describe its commitment to the principle of giving priority to "customer services" as a general rule.
 顧客サービスを使命とする経営理念を総則に盛り込むことなど4議案を提案し、他の株主にも賛同を呼びかけている。

The Tokyo metropolitan government's proposals are likely to be rejected. But the central government, which wants to place TEPCO under state control and push through necessary reforms from the inside, has a clear interest in not antagonizing the metropolitan government.
 議案自体は否決される公算が大きいが、今総会で東電を国有化し、内部から改革を進めたい国としては、「敵」にしたくない存在でもある。

Since last year's disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, people have become increasingly skeptical about safety measures implemented by utilities and their supply-demand estimates across the nation. The shareholders meetings should be a starting point to reform the management and operations of the electric power companies.
 福島第一原発の事故以降、電力各社の安全対策や需給見通しに各地で疑問の声があがった。株主総会を、電力会社が生まれ変わるきっかけにしなければならない。

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