Abe vows government will see rebuilding effort in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture through to the end

JIJI

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged continued efforts for the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture, especially areas near the site of the 2011 nuclear power plant accident, during an inspection tour of the area with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“The government will make utmost efforts until the day the reconstruction of Fukushima is achieved,” Abe told reporters. The government’s post-disaster reconstruction period is set to end in the spring of 2021.

“I’ve realized that progress has been made on reconstruction steadily step by step,” he said after visiting areas near Futaba Station on East Japan Railway Co.’s Joban Line.

The station is located on a section that was closed after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which triggered the reactor meltdowns at the plant.

The government is resolved to take all possible measures to revive the local economy by taking advantage of the full reopening of the Joban Line planned for spring 2020, Abe said.

Together with IOC President Thomas Bach, Abe also visited a stadium in the city of Fukushima that will be used as a venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Earlier in the day, Abe inspected a multipurpose medical helicopter at a hospital which opened in the town of Tomioka in April this year.

An evacuation order is still in place in the town of Futaba, one of the municipalities that hosts Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s accident-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.