TOKYO Oct 20 Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Noda said the government will spend at least 1 trillion yen ($13
billion) to clean up vast areas contaminated by radiation from
the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
"At least 1 trillion yen will be budgeted as we take on the
responsibility for decontamination," Noda said in an interview
with public broadcaster NHK on Thursday.
"It is a prerequisite for people to return to their
Japan faces the prospect of removing and disposing 29
million cubic metres of soil from a sprawling area in Fukushima,
located 240 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Tokyo, and four
The Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, crippled by an
earthquake and tsunami in March, has spread radiation that has
forced some 80,000 people to leave their homes after the
government banned entry within a 20 km radius of the plant.
For decontamination work, the government has so far raised
220 billion yen and plans to allocate a further 250 billion yen
in the third extra budget it is set to formalise on Friday, Noda
said, adding more would come in the next fiscal year's budget.
Some experts say the cleanup bill could reach trillions of
Last week, a team of visiting U.N. nuclear experts said
Japan should be less conservative in removing