PM Suga Makes 1st Fukushima Visit since Taking Office

Politics

Okuma/Futaba, Fukushima Pref., Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday visited Fukushima Prefecture, which was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and affected by the subsequent nuclear accident, for the first time since he took office on Sept. 16.

Suga chose Fukushima as the destination of his first domestic local trip as prime minister apparently in a bid to emphasize his cabinet's stance of attaching importance to the reconstruction of areas affected by the natural and nuclear disasters, just as the cabinet led by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, did.

During the one-day trip, Suga visited Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which was knocked out by the quake and tsunami. While inspecting the damaged No. 1 to No. 4 reactors at the plant from a higher ground, he received explanations from TEPCO employees about the work to decommission the plant and treat contaminated water from the power station, which straddles the towns of Okuma and Futaba.

"It is a tough work, but I hope it will be done steadily," Suga said, showing the government's readiness to continue offering full-fledged support for the work.

After the inspection, Suga told reporters: "Without the reconstruction of Fukushima, there will be no recovery of Tohoku. Without the reconstruction of Tohoku, there will be no revival of Japan. This is a basic policy of my cabinet."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press