Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, second from left, sits in a meeting with Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato, second from right, at the Fukushima Prefectural Government headquarters on Jan. 8, 2012. (Mainichi)
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday again sought cooperation from Fukushima Prefecture to accept a temporary storage site for contaminated soil and waste from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but the prefecture’s governor instead expressed strong displeasure at Noda’s announcement last month that the crisis has been brought under control.
That announcement was “far from the feeling of the residents in Fukushima Prefecture and those who had to evacuate” from the radiation-contaminated areas, said Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato at a meeting to discuss decontamination and reconstruction work in the prefecture. “We can call it under control only when evacuated people can come home.”
The governor’s comment reflected the strong frustration among people in crisis-hit areas of Fukushima over Noda’s announcement in mid-December that the crippled nuclear plant had been brought to a state of “cold shutdown” and that “the accident at the plant itself has been settled.”
Following the announcement, the central government asked the Futaba district of Fukushima Prefecture to host a temporary storage facility for contaminated soil and waste to be removed from around the crippled nuclear power plant in the prefecture.
Huge piles of plastic bags containing used radioactive gear and other contaminated waste are seen at the J-Village facility. (Photo courtesy of TEPCO)
Some experts, as well as politicians from both the ruling and opposition camps, have said it was too early to call it settled. The Fukushima prefectural assembly also unanimously passed a resolution demanding the central government retract the announcement.
Some local leaders in eight municipalities of Futaba district have said they would accept to host the planned interim storage, but others, including Futaba town mayor Katsutaka Idogawa, are opposed to the idea. Fukushima Gov. Sato has held a position that the proposal should be examined carefully.
(Mainichi Japan) January 9, 2012