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Kansai Electric to Halt New Sales Activities over Data Scandal

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The headquarters of The Kansai Electric Power Co. are seen in Osaka in April 2021.

OSAKA — Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday it will halt new sales activities until the end of April after revelations of fraudulent access by some employees to customer information that was managed by a subsidiary.

“I deeply regret that scandals have been repeated,” Kansai Electric President Nozomu Mori told a press conference in the western Japan city of Osaka.

He said he will voluntarily return 50% of his remuneration for six months from March to take responsibility for the incident.

Kansai Electric will also refrain from TV and radio commercials about its electricity and gas sales.

The company plans to draw up measures for improvement by the end of April after further investigating the cause of the fraudulent data access, while conducting employee training about compliance.

Based on the investigation results, Kansai Electric will consider punishments for executives and others.

Some employees were using fraudulently accessed client data of so-called power producers and suppliers, or PPSs, for their sales activities.

On Tuesday, the industry ministry instructed the company to conduct an emergency inspection to review its compliance.

Mori said he thought that Kansai Electric had undertaken some reform measures since the revelation in 2019 of a scandal, in which many officials received gifts from a former deputy mayor of a town hosting one of its nuclear plants, but he now sees further need to examine what is missing in its compliance policies.