September 6, 2018 / 3:41 AM / 20 days ago

Japan trade minister sees at least a week to restore power across whole Hokkaido

TOKYO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Restoring full power across the Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido will take at least a week after a powerful earthquake that struck earlier in the day, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Thursday.

The government is seeking to restore partial power supplies to some areas as soon as possible on Thursday once Hokkaido Electric Power Co restarts its Sunagawa coal-fired power plant, Seko said.

A top government spokesman said earlier that the Sunagawa power plant may be the first to restart, due to delays in restarting at the key Tomato-Atsuma plant, which supplies about half the island’s power.

Reporting by Kazuhiko Tamaki and Osamu Tsukimori; editing by Richard Pullin

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