Govt to give over $3.70 billion to Fukushima for tainted soil storage

Govt to give over $3.70 billion to Fukushima for tainted soil storage
In this photo taken in March, bags containing contaminated soil are piled up in a stadium in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.

JAPAN - The government plans to give a total of ¥301 billion (S$3.70 billion) in financial assistance to Fukushima Prefecture and two of its towns, Okuma and Futaba-candidate locations for interim facilities to store soil contaminated with radioactive substances released from Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

On Friday, Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara, Takumi Nemoto, state minister for reconstruction, met with Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato, Okuma Mayor Toshitsune Watanabe and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa in Koriyama in the prefecture. During the meeting, Ishihara presented the government's financial support plan.

Sato, Watanabe and Izawa favourably responded to the offer. The Fukushima prefectural government will decide whether to give a green light to the construction of the facilities to store tainted soil from decontamination work by the end of this month.

The government aims to start to bring in contaminated soil to the facilities in January.

The money will be used for promoting regional development and rebuilding local residents' lives.

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