More hot spots to be named

Kyodo

The government will announce new radiation hot spots recommended for evacuation near the Fukueshima No. 1 nuclear power plant, possibly “within the next couple of days,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Thursday.

Late last month, for the first time since the nuclear crisis was triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami, the government designated about 100 households in Date, Fukushima Prefecture, as being located in hot spots, where radiation levels are sporadically higher than other locations nearby.

The annual level of radiation in each hot spot is estimated to top 20 millisieverts.

The central government and local authorities are prepared to assist those who wish to evacuate from these locations.

Asked about his stance on future nuclear policy following the crisis, Edano, the top government spokesman, told a news conference: “We should never let such a thing happen again. The most effective approach is, I believe, that we need to reduce (Japan’s) reliance on nuclear power as much as possible.”

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said earlier this month that Japan should aim for a society that doesn’t depend on nuclear power.

Kan’s proposal has been regarded as his personal view, not the government’s official stance, and some lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties, as well as business leaders, have criticized it as impromptu and unrealistic.