Japanese Nuclear Plant Owners Join Twitter

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It’s modern public relations 101: When you want to humanize your negative publicity, create a Twitter account. But while that kind of thing worked wonders for Charlie Sheen, it’s unlikely that the Tokyo Electric Power Co. – the owners of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant that has been threatening to meltdown since last week’s earthquake – is going to achieve the same kind of paid-tweet cult success anytime soon.

@OfficialTEPCO launched yesterday, and has already gained more than 191,000 followers in less than 24 hours. It is available only in Japanese, although the AFP translates its profile to read “We sincerely apologize for causing serious worries and trouble over the accident at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, radiation leak, planned blackouts.” So far, the seven tweets the account has published have been very gracious updates about the rolling blackouts in effect following the earthquake, although it’s expected to be used for more traditional PR purposes as soon as the disaster recedes.

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