The Daily Manila Shimbun


Diet OKs bill aimed at accelerating Fukushima reconstruction 

May 12, 2017

Tokyo- The Japanese Diet enacted Friday a bill aimed at accelerating the state-led reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture from the nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which hit particularly hard the northeastern Japan region of Tohoku.   The bill to revise the special law on rebuilding the prefecture was approved by a majority vote chiefly by lawmakers of the ruling coalition and the leading opposition Democratic Party at the day's plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet.

Under the revised law, state funds will be used to decontaminate desingated districts in no-go zones, where entry is banned in principle due to the high-level fallout from the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s  Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The central government will intensively conduct the decontamination work and infrastructure projects in the designated districts so it can lift its evacuation order there in five years.
Previously, the government took the stance of making TEPCO pay the decontamination costs. But it decided to shoulder decontamination costs as far as the specified districts are involved.
The revised law also stipulates state support for local governments' efforts to prevent bullying of school children fleeing from Fukushima to other prefectures, in the wake of such harassment happening in various parts of the country.
In addition, the national government will conduct surveys on how Fukushima's agricultural, forestry and fishery products are suffering damage from groundless rumors about contamination and give advice to distributors of such products based on the survey results.
The amendment bill's enactment, initially planned for April, was delayed by parliamentary turmoil caused by the dismissal of Masahiro Imamura as post-disaster reconstruction minister over his insulting gaffe against Tohoku. (Jiji Press)