Environment Minister Meets Fukushima Governor

Environment Minister meets Fukushima Governor

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi has met with the governor of Fukushima Prefecture, and discussed a storage facility for contaminated soil from the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Koizumi met Governor Masao Uchibori at the prefectural government building on Thursday, in his first visit to Fukushima after assuming his new post on Wednesday.

Intermediate storage facilities have being built in two towns in Fukushima for contaminated soil and other materials collected in clean-up operations of the environment.

Some waste has already been shipped to those storage facilities from temporary storage sites.

The government has said that the waste will be taken out of Fukushima for final disposal by 2045. But it has not yet decided where the site will be.

Governor Uchibori said it was a difficult decision for Fukushima to make to accept those intermediate facilities. He said it is the promise of the government to take the waste out of his prefecture within 30 years.

Koizumi replied that he will do his best to ensure that the government keeps its promise.

He added that next week he plans to visit the intermediate storage facilities.

Koizumi told reporters that his first task is to make sure the waste materials will be transported safely to the intermediate storage facilities as the people of Fukushima want.

He said he will work together with the governor and people of Fukushima for reconstruction.