• Staff report


Miyake islanders should be responsible for their own safety if they decide to return to their island, whose volcano remains active, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Friday.

Ishihara will meet Tuesday with Sukeyasu Hirano, mayor of the village of Miyake, who hopes to lift an evacuation order on the islanders early next year. The pair are expected to discuss plans to allow the islanders, who were all evacuated in September 2000 in the wake of volcanic activity on Mount Oyama, to resettle on the island.

But on Friday, Ishihara warned that some parts of the island remain dangerous. “Should something (dangerous) happen and the residents place the responsibility (for any damage) on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the metro government will not be able to fully deal with their claims,” Ishihara told a regular news conference.

The governor added that he will tell Hirano that the islanders should submit written promises to the mayor that they will return to the island at their own risk if they decide to do so.

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