Olympics: Fukushima firm sends reassurance message ahead of 2020 vote

 Olympics: Fukushima firm sends reassurance message ahead of 2020 vote

TOKYO - The head of Tokyo Electric Power Co has sent a rare English message to calm fears over the impact of the Fukushima accident, which has overshadowed Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics.

In rivalry with Istanbul and Madrid, Tokyo is bracing for the vote in Buenos Aires on Saturday (early Sunday Japan time) to pick who should host the Summer Games.

But media coverage of the crippled nuclear plant at Fukushima, where radioactive water is leaking into the ocean, has dogged Tokyo's bid.

"We deeply apologise for the greater anxiety caused by the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station," TEPCO president Naomi Hirose said in a video message posted on its homepage on Thursday.

"Supported by the Japanese government ... all of us at TEPCO will strive relentlessly to control the contaminated water," Hirose said in English. But he denied any significant impact on the environment outside the plant, playing down fears over the possible spread of radiation.

"We believe that the impact on the surrounding waters is limited to the area within the port of the power plant," he said.

"And that judging by the results of our monitoring three kilometres (two miles) offshore there has been no impact on the water or the wider ocean," he added.

A TEPCO spokesman said the posting of the message "just coincided" with the final days of the Olympic race.

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