Japan PM vows to bring 'rebirth' to Fukushima

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AP

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:26 AM

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's prime minister has pledged to bring "rebirth" to the area around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a new conference Wednesday that authorities would work to decontaminate the region from radioactive fallout, while ensuring compensation and health checks for those affected by the disaster.

The nuclear crisis was triggered by damage from an earthquake and tsunami in March and has dislocated about 100,000 residents. The region around the plant remains off-limits.

Government officials have said it may be many years before residents can return.

On Dec. 16, the government declared that the plant had achieved "cold shutdown conditions," and was essentially stable.

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