Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, on Tuesday asked representatives from 74 municipalities in 43 prefectures to accept debris for disposal from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.
Officials in the tsunami-hit areas say the increasing mountains of debris are hampering reconstruction efforts.
However, many prefectures have expressed reluctance to accept debris for incineration due to radioactive fears. The Tokyo metropolitan government is the only government outside the tsunami-hit zone to agree to accept rubble, but last week, after it announced its decision, it received hundreds of complaints from citizens by phone, fax and email.
The Environment Ministry estimates that over 22 million tons of debris in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures need to be disposed of, NHK reported. Hosono said the ministry will send experts to brief residents and local government officials on how the debris will be tested for radiation, NHK reported.
Many local government officials said the central government has not done a good job of explaining the radiation problem and what levels are safe in terms that are easy to understand.© Japan Today