No Japan revival unless Fukushima recovers: Minister

No Japan revival unless Fukushima recovers: Minister

KORIYAMA, Japan - Hürriyet Daily News
No Japan revival unless Fukushima recovers: Minister

Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. Reuters photo

Without the recovery of Fukushima, the Japanese prefecture hit by a devastating earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear disaster in March last year, there will be no revival of Japan, the Asian country’s foreign minister, Koichiro Gemba, has said.

“We can never let a nuclear accident happen ever again anywhere in the world,” Gemba said in his opening speech at the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Koriyama, Japan on Dec. 15.

His country had achieved important improvements in decontamination of the area affected by the nuclear accident, but some challenges remain, he said in a passionate speech, noting that he had been born and raised in Fukushima, only 40 kilometers from the Daiichi plant.

“In this respect, as a person engaged nationally and as a person who grew up in Fukushima, the tragedy brought about by this accident seriously hit home for me,” he said.

“Many [people] are still forced to stay in evacuation areas and remain fearful of the effects of radiation.” No country in the world has ever experienced such a decontamination operation, and it will probably require a great deal of time and new technologies, the minister said, expressing confidence in the recovery.

“Japan is firmly determined to restore its beautiful and rich homeland filled with smiles.” Gemba also said the Japanese lessons “will surely contribute to worldwide nuclear safety.”