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Nuclear town's lavish gifts to Japan utility imperil plant restart

Kansai Electric chiefs under fire as industry worry about repercussions

Kansai Electric Power's units 3 and 4 reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant.

OSAKA -- The scandal involving shady payments to Kansai Electric Power executives by a nuclear host community is likely to dim the utility's prospects for restarting idled reactors as the public deepens its distrust of the operator.

A former deputy mayor of Takahama, the town north of Kyoto that hosts the namesake nuclear station, sent money and gifts totaling 320 million yen ($3 million) in value to 20 Kansai Electric executives over a seven-year period starting in 2011, according to the company and insider accounts.

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