Fukui disbands oil-spill task force

FUKUI — The Fukui Prefectural Government disbanded its special oil-spill task force on April 30 as the clean-up of crude oil spilled from a Russian oil tanker in the Sea of Japan is nearly complete and the bow of the ship removed.

The headquarters of the task force, which had been in operation since Jan. 7, was shut down by the prefecture as stipulated by the Disaster Measures Basic Law. It is the second such task force to be dissolved; Ishikawa Prefecture shut its down May 4.

According to a report by Fukui Prefecture, more than 17,911 kiloliters of contaminated sea water and sand has been collected during the cleanup. Moreover, a total of about 90,000 volunteers participated in the effort.

Although it has not been determined how the nearly 700 million yen in donations received from throughout Japan will be used, it has been decided that the funds will not be distributed to individuals. Fukui is now considering plans to use the money to support volunteer efforts and to repair the environment.

The Russian tanker Nakhodka broke apart in stormy weather in waters off Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, Jan. 2, spilling at least 5,000 kiloliters of oil, polluting the coasts of a number of prefectures.