Fukushima plant owner Tepco reports $7.4bn loss

Former residents of the town of Okuma
Image caption Radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant forced many people to leave the area

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant damaged in March's earthquake and tsunami, has reported a quarterly loss of 571.8bn yen ($7.4bn; £4.5bn)

The loss includes 400bn yen put aside by Tepco to compensate victims of the disaster, which forced 80,000 people to be evacuated from the area around the Fukushima plant.

It gave no forecast for the full year.

The company said there was too much uncertainty over the ongoing crisis.

The disaster has had a severe impact on local industries, contaminating farm produce including vegetables, dairy products, fish, mushrooms and green tea.

Beef shipments were banned after cattle were found to have eaten contaminated rice straw.

Tepco may have to pay compensation of up to $130bn over the incident.

Last week, Japan's parliament approved a plan - including financial contributions from taxpayers and other utilities - to help the company compensate victims of the disaster at the plant.

Tepco has said it aims to start accepting claims in September and making payments in October.

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