In response to the problem of employees of major electric power companies illegally browsing customer information of competitors through their subsidiaries, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) interviewed the presidents of five electric power companies and subsidiaries that received business improvement orders and confirmed their efforts to prevent recurrence.

In April, five companies, Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co., a subsidiary of the transmission and distribution divisions of both companies, and a subsidiary of Chugoku Electric Power's power transmission and distribution division, received a business improvement order from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

On June 4, executives of the Electricity and Gas Trading Surveillance Commission of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry met individually with the presidents of each company to confirm their efforts to prevent recurrence based on the business improvement plans submitted by each company.

First, Committee Chairman Akihiko Yokoyama stated, "I would like to confirm whether the adequacy and effectiveness of the business improvement plan are ensured after listening to the thoughts of the top management of the organization."

In response, Kazuhiro Ikebe, president of Kyushu Electric Power Co., which had decided as an organization to use illegally viewed information for the company's business, said, "The problem as an organization was that we could not listen to the voices of employees who pointed out deficiencies and questions.

In addition, Hideo Matsuoka, president of Chugoku Electric Power Network, which had a flawed information management system, said, "Based on the reflection that there was a low awareness of compliance with conduct regulations, we would like to strive to raise employee awareness by repeatedly conveying that we will promote management that prioritizes compliance."

Nozomu Mori, President of Kansai Electric Power Co., Ltd., who used some customer information for sales activities, said, "We will do our utmost to prevent such a situation from happening again, such as by reforming the organizational culture based on the premise of thorough compliance."

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will continue to interview each company to confirm whether it is reviewing its system for legal compliance.