Mari Iwata and Mitsuru Obe
WSJ
May 9, 2011

TOKYO—Chubu Electric Power Co. gave in to Japanese government pressure on Monday and agreed to temporarily shut down the nuclear reactors at its Hamaoka power plant in central Japan over earthquake safety concerns, a move that worsens the nation’s looming electricity shortage as the peak summer season approaches.

Company President Akihisa Mizuno disclosed the decision after Chubu Electric held its second emergency board meeting since Prime Minister Naoto Kan went on live television Friday evening to “urge” shutting the plant. Since the plant complied with all existing laws and regulations, the government could only recommend the temporary shutdown, not officially order it.

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“We understand the request is based on the rising anxiety of the general public,” Mr. Mizuno said at a news conference.

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