The government will lead "emergency measures" to combat the radioactive water leaks at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, wresting control of the disaster recovery from the besieged Tokyo Electric Power Co.

"We've allowed Tepco to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they've essentially turned it into a game of 'whack-a-mole,' " Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters Monday night in Fukushima. "From now on, the government will move to the forefront."

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is led by Motegi, "is working to draw up, sometime in September, both emergency measures and more fundamental steps to eliminate the roots of the contaminated water problem, as well as measures to be carried out going forward," the prime minister's office said in a response to written questions.