Japan's PM visits Fukushima nuke plant in revival message

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Sunday, April 14, 2019, to inspect the reconstruction effort following the tsunami, quake and nuclear accident in 2011. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, foreground, visits Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Sunday, April 14, 2019, to inspect the reconstruction effort following the tsunami, quake and nuclear accident in 2011. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media after Abe visited Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Sunday, April 14, 2019. Prime Minister Abe inspected the reconstruction effort following the tsunami, quake and nuclear accident in 2011. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday visited the Fukushima nuclear plant, which sank into meltdowns after a tsunami eight years ago, in an effort to highlight revival and safety as the nation prepares to host the 2020 Olympics.

The visit by Abe, who last went to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant five years ago, was seen as damage control after Yoshitaka Sakurada, a ruling party minister overseeing the Olympics, resigned for a remark appearing to belittle reconstruction in northeastern Japan.

"Our basic policy is that every minister is a reconstruction minister," Abe said during his visit. "We reaffirmed our commitment to work for the revival of Fukushima and northeastern Japan."

Abe wore a business suit as he was shown around the plant — a contrast to the special head-to-toe suit and mask visitors had to wear five years ago, reflecting progress with the cleanup.

He also visited a soccer facility called J-Village, which temporarily served as a place for workers dealing with the plant accident.

A giant tsunami in March 2011 set off meltdowns at three of Fukushima Dai-ichi's reactors, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. As many as 160,000 people evacuated the area, although some have since returned.

Earlier Sunday, Abe visited Okuma, one of two towns that house the plant, where an evacuation order was partially lifted earlier this month.

The government has been carrying out decontamination efforts to lower radiation levels in the region. The plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., is being decommissioned. The utility says that will take 30 to 40 years.

You may also interested in

Tesla's Autopilot system under scrutiny in fatal...

Sep 15, 2016

Tesla faces new scrutiny in China about its vehicle Autopilot system after state television...

China launches second space station, Tiangong 2

Sep 15, 2016

China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its...

China says some factories have violated anti-smog...

Jan 3, 2017

China's environmental ministry says an unspecified number of companies have violated measures meant...

Chinese delegation open to meeting Trump's team...

Jan 11, 2017

A Chinese official says President Xi Jinping's delegation to the World Economic Forum is open to...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!