A mayor in Fukushima Prefecture has asked the central government to help his
city host the administrative functions of municipalities that have been forced to
evacuate by the nuclear accident.
Iwaki Mayor Takao Watanabe made the request to Reconstruction Minister
Tatsuo Hirano, who visited the city on Monday.
The request comes in connection with a plan by Okuma Town to move its town
office and other public facilities, as well as temporary housing for residents, to
Iwaki and elsewhere in Fukushima.
Okuma is in a no-entry zone near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power
plant and all residents have been evacuated from the town. Some other
municipalities are considering similar projects.
Watanabe told Hirano that no municipalities have filed formal requests to Iwaki
yet. He said he is ready to cooperate, but needs to know how long his city would
have to host the other towns’ functions.
Hirano replied that the government will interview evacuees and municipalities
considering establishing temporary towns before starting consultations with the
municipalities, Fukushima Prefecture and Iwaki City.