The Japanese government is considering buying the land within the 20-km exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. Reconstruction Minister Tatsuo Hirano, who visited Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday, said that due to extremely high levels of radiation within the 20-km zone, it may be unsafe for residents to return to their homes for a long time.
Meanwhile, NHK reported that Prime Minister Naoto Kan will visit Fukushima on Aug 27 and meet with Fukushima Gov Yuehi Sato to explain the government's policy.
The decision to buy the land from evacuated residents comes as part of the government's long-term strategy toward stabilizing the nuclear plant's cooling systems, achieving cold shutdown and finally beginning the decommissioning process, a process that could take at least a decade.
Hirano told NHK that in order to support those displaced by the disaster, the administration will have to buy the land and compensate the residents as well as build permanent housing for evacuees.
A government report projected that radiation accumulated over one year at 22 monitoring sites within roughly 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant would be at least five times higher than the international safety standard.© Japan Today