The Tsushima Municipal Assembly in Nagasaki Prefecture on Tuesday approved a request calling on the city to conduct a preliminary survey to gauge its suitability to host an underground disposal site for highly radioactive waste.

Tsushima Mayor Naoki Hitakatsu said he would make a final decision during the September assembly session on whether to authorize the survey, the first part of a three-stage process spanning around 20 years to select a permanent disposal site for the waste from nuclear power generation.

If Tsushima decides to conduct the survey, requested by four local construction associations, the island city struggling with depopulation and a sluggish economy would receive up to ¥2 billion in state subsidies.