National / Politics

Abe pledges government action in decommissioning Fukushima No. 1

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday that the central government will take the initiative in decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Visiting the town of Okuma, which hosts the crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co. complex, to check its recovery from the disaster, Abe told Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe that the central government “will try to ensure that the (reconstruction) plan will make progress.”

Following the nuclear crisis that started in March 2011, all residents remain evacuated. The functions of the town government have been relocated to the city of Aizuwakamatsu about 100 km to the west.

Later in the day, Abe visited Naraha, where an evacuation order issued after the nuclear crisis was lifted in early September.

In a meeting with five people who returned to the town, Abe said his administration will “cooperate with the municipal government to fully support” them in rebuilding their lives.

Abe also attended the opening ceremony of a research facility focusing on decommissioning the nuclear plant. He was briefed about a remote-controlled robot that can inspect the interiors of nuclear reactors.