The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is striving to ensure that evacuees from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami can mark the second anniversary of the disasters with hope for the future, former LDP Vice President Tadamori Oshima said.
Nearly two years after the disasters struck, 320,000 people remain in temporary housing, he said in a recent interview.
“Our biggest goal is to allow these people to prepare for the start of the third year in hope,” said Oshima, head of the LDP’s group tasked with finding ways to speed up disaster reconstruction.
To achieve the goal, the implementation of a number of reconstruction projects, including land readjustments and collective relocations, should be accelerated, he said.
The LDP is hoping to resolve three issues blocking progress, he said, citing manpower shortages, the difficulty in adjusting land rights and material shortages.
Oshima also said that as a proponent of nuclear power, both he and the LDP bear some responsibility for the current situation after the triple meltdown crisis started at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.
“Reconstruction in Fukushima cannot be achieved without paving the way for the decontamination of contaminated areas and the decommissioning of the plant’s damaged reactors, he said.
The focus of decontamination should be on building temporary facilities as soon as possible to store soil and other radioactive waste left behind, he said.
Research and development of technologies for decommissioning the damaged reactors should be conducted as national projects and carried out simultaneously with actual decommissioning work, he said.
Oshima also pointed to the need to create a new organization for such research and development.
The ruling party will promote contact with those who are working for decontamination and decommissioning, he said, adding that it also needs to say even what the government finds it difficult to say to the public about nuclear regulations.