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4 Years On: Fukushima Calls for Extending Intensive Reconstruction Period

4 Years On: Fukushima Calls for Extending Intensive Reconstruction Period

   Fukushima, March 5 (Jiji Press)--Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori reiterated his calls for extending an intensive reconstruction period set to end in March 2016, as some 120,000 people still live as evacuees four years after Japan's worst nuclear accident in the northeastern Japan prefecture.
   "In a sense, reconstruction in Fukushima has just begun," Uchibori said in an interview ahead of the fourth anniversary of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
   The prefectural government will estimate financial resources necessary for reconstruction, he said, adding that "the intensive reconstruction period will end when overall reconstruction is completed."
   The three prefectures hit hardest by the disaster should cooperate on reconstruction efforts, he said. Expressing his prefecture's intention to work with Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, also in northeastern Japan, Uchibori said that "there is a long way to go in fiscal 2016 and beyond before reconstruction is complete."
   Although there remain difficult issues, such as evacuation areas near the Fukushima No. 1 plant, decontamination work and the disposal of soil contaminated with radioactive substances released from the plant, there are signs of improvement, such as the lifting of evacuation orders in some areas within 20 kilometers of the plant, he said.

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