That comment alone may tell you that he is not an engineer. But then, TEPCO has never been an engineering or technology company anyway.
As part of the deal for the public money injection into the company, TEPCO has a new set of top management, including the chairman sent from the Noda administration. The new president, Naomi Hirose, is from the sales department, which is unusual for the company, but not much departure from the past presidents of TEPCO who were from the planning or the general affairs departments with strong ties to the government officials.
Some of Hirose's remarks during the press conference, from Yomiuri Shinbun (5/8/2012):
Naomi Hirose (age 59), Executive Director of TEPCO and soon-to-be President, held a press conference on May 8 and spoke of his aspirations, "I will try my best to reform the company so that people can feel "Oh, TEPCO is slowly but surely changing"."
He also pointed out that TEPCO should be more aware how it is perceived in the society.
He listed three issues as his priorities: compensating the victims of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, decommissioning the plant, and providing electricity in a stable manner.
As to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (in Niigata Prefecture), which is considered key to TEPCO's operation, Hirose said, "We will have to do the detailed investigation of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, as Niigata Prefecture demands. Then we may be able to obtain the consent [of the local municipalities] to restart the plant." In TEPCO's overall special business plan, Kashiwazaki-kariwa is to be restarted in the fiscal 2013. The national government is scheduled to approve the business plan on May 9.
That business plan also include raising the utility charges for the ordinary household customers by 700 yen (US$8.77) per month starting July, to help pay for decommissioning. TEPCO will also introduce the tiered fee structure, so it will cost more to use electricity during the peak hours in summer (middle of the day).
Independent journalist Ryuichi Kino, who attended the press conference, noticed a peculiar Japanese phrase that Mr. Hirose used. It is an expression in the literary (as opposed to spoken) style Japanese that means "be that as it may". Kino says he has noticed over the last year that this particular phrase is used by many top bureaucrats in the top ministries of the government, and wonders if Mr. Hirose is closer to them than to common people after all. Uh... yes. The role of the president of TEPCO has always been to work with the bureaucrats and politicians.
As to the bureaucrats who use old-style literary Japanese, one prominent novelist, Ryotaro Shiba, in Japan once wrote, "For the bureaucrats in the central government, it is still the Meiji era with Charter Oath of Five Articles and Grand Council of State" which governed the country in the absence of a parliament by popular election.