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» New Industry minister visited to Fukushima for the first time after March 11

New trade and industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa paid a visit to the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant over the weekend, his first since replacing Yuko Obuchi, who resigned in October over a funding scandal.

Miyazawa visited the wrecked plant before going to Kagoshima Prefecture to push for the restart of idled reactors there, apparently to fend off criticism that he places greater importance on promoting restarts than dealing with the societal fallout from the triple meltdown in Fukushima.

“There are difficult issues, but we see things proceeding steadily so far,” the economy, trade and industry minister said, referring to efforts to scrap the stricken reactors and deal with the massive amount of radioactive water accumulating at the plant.

Miyazawa said the reactors at the Fukushima plant, and the Sendai plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co. in Kagoshima are different because the safety of the latter has been confirmed by new safety tests introduced as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

“It is going to be a restart after preparing all we can think of right now to avoid such an accident,” he said.

All of the nation’s 48 commercial reactors remain offline, and must pass the new Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety assessments before going online again.

<Media Report>
METI chief Miyazawa pays first visit to Fukushima No. 1 plant (Japan Times)

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