Oct. 29, 2014
Residents of Shioya Town, Tochigi Prefecture, have petitioned the Environment Ministry to drop a site in their town from consideration to host a facility for storing radioactive waste.
The site in Shioya, north of Tokyo, is one of five the government wants to build permanent storage facilities on for designated waste. The waste is material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that has radiation levels exceeding 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.
The mayor of Shioya and the leader of a group of residents handed their petition to State Minister of the Environment Yasuhiro Ozato at the ministry in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Shioya has a population of about 12,000. But the petition was signed by about 173,000 people from across Japan.
Residents and their supporters claim a permanent storage facility would threaten the town’s water supply and accelerate population decline.
State Minister Ozato said he takes the residents’ and signatories’ concerns seriously. He stressed the importance of smooth communication and exchange of views over those concerns.
The representative of the residents’ group said that he expects the State Minister to understand that the signatures show how strongly people feel about the government’s plan.
The Environment Ministry plans to hold a meeting of the prefecture’s mayors on November 9th to win support for the permanent storage facility.
Shioya is expected to reiterate their opposition to the plan.