* GE designed reactors involved in Japan nuclear crisis
* Follows Japan visit of Areva CEO
BOSTON, April 1 (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) Chief Executive Jeff Immelt is headed to Japan to meet with officials including executives at Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T), which operates the Fukushima power plant that is the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
“He is going to Japan to meet with customers, partners and employees. He does have a meeting with Tepco,” company spokeswoman Deirdre Latour said on Friday.
Engineers at GE, which designed the reactors used in the Fukushima plant, have been advising on response to the nuclear crisis, but not directly, instead working through Hitachi Ltd (6501.T), GE’s joint venture partner in the nuclear business, GE spokesmen have said.
The chief executive of French reactor maker Areva CEPFi.PA, Anne Lauvergeon, has already appeared in Japan, saying on Thursday that she wanted to send staff to help handle the crisis.
The head of the largest U.S. conglomerate has also come under fire at home this week, after the New York Times reported that GE paid no U.S. federal income taxes in 2010, a claim the company has disputed. Immelt, who serves on a White House panel on job creation, on Thursday defended GE’s position on taxes in a speech in Washington. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Gary Hill)