Japan mulls future of Fukushima

A Japanese ruling party official has called into question a government plan to let people who fled from the Fukushima nuclear disaster go home, saying the government should identify areas that will never be habitable.

The Fukushima plant north of Tokyo was battered by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, leading to meltdowns and explosions that sent plumes of radiation into the air and sea.

About 150 000 people were evacuated. A large area of surrounding land is off-limits because of radiation but the government is hoping to eventually allow everyone to go home.

But Shigeru Ishiba, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said it was inevitable that some people would never go back.

"The time will definitely come that someone must say 'they cannot live in this area but they would be compensated'," Ishiba was quoted as saying in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.


The question of letting people go home is politically sensitive for the government and it would not want to have to tell thousands of residents that they cannot go back.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has been struggling to stop radiation leaks from the wrecked plant.

It is now preparing to remove 400 tonnes of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a very dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale.

Ishiba also said authorities might have to relax limits for radiation exposure if anything was ever going to be done in terms of re-building the area.

"Unless we come up with answer as to what to do with a measure for decontamination, reconstruction of Fukushima won't ever make progress," Ishiba was quoted as saying. – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Reuters
Guest Author

Related stories

Where do Africans study abroad?

China is becoming the preferred destination for countries such as Ghana and Nigeria

The first undeniable climate change deaths

In Japan, in 2018, more than 1 000 people died during an unprecedented heat wave. In 2019, scientists proved it would have been impossible without global warming

M&G is most trusted weekly news brand

In a poll by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, based at Oxford University, the Mail & Guardian emerged as the most trusted weekly publication in South Africa

Covid-19: A case for why we all should wear homemade face masks

Countries that have mandated mask-wearing for people going out in public have shown a decrease in the rate of Covid-19 infections

Hindsight is 2020 for Japan

Tokyo has a history of cancelled Olympics – but a different type of war caused it to cancel in 1940

Develop the Advanced Manufacturing Institute to increase SA’s competitiveness

The institute should develop products that are applicable to different industries, such as 3D-imaging and self-driving cars
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…