The president of the beleaguered Tokyo utility company that owns the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant leaking radiation in the northeast has been hospitalised with high blood pressure, the company said Wednesday.
Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., had not been seen for nearly two weeks after appearing at the news conference two days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hobbled the Fukushima Daiichii plant.
Shimizu, 66, was taken Tuesday to a Tokyo hospital after suffering dizziness and high blood pressure, TEPCO spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said.
Confirmation of his hospitalisation comes amid speculation about his health after he disappeared from sight. Company Vice President Sakae Muto has appeared regularly at news briefings instead. TEPCO officials had been deflecting questions about Shimizu’s health, saying he had been “resting” at company headquarters.
It was the latest crisis to beset TEPCO, still struggling to stabilise the dangerously overheated power plant and to contain the radiation seeping from the complex and into the sea and soil nearby.
The six-unit facility has been leaking since the tsunami slammed into the coast, knocking out power and backup systems crucial to keeping temperatures down inside the plant’s reactors.