translated by Brett Larner
Due to the ongoing situation at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Denryoku, or TEPCO as the company is known in English, announced on April 11 that it is suspending its men's ekiden team. The team did management did not renew its jitsugyodan corporate league registration this season, meaning that the team is not elligible to take part in the New Year Ekiden or other jitsugyodan league competitions. Team members are, however, not restricted from competing independently in other races.
The team's athletes and staff have all been sent to work at locations in Fukushima and surrounding areas. Head coach Shigeo Daigo, 43, commented, "These are emergency circumstances, and our top priority right now is to help get control of the situation. Our athletes will be working alongside the other employees as one company." There are no current plans for when the ekiden team will resume activity.
The Tokyo Denryoku team has competed in the last three straight New Year Ekiden national championships. From 2008 until last year it was coached by 1991 World Championships marathon gold medalist Hiromi Taniguchi.