Gov't to set additional steps by Nov. to deal with contaminated water

The Japanese government set up a task force on Sept. 10 to strengthen measures to prevent problems linked to the leakage of contaminated water at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The team, which handles the decommissioning of reactors at the plant and the treatment of contaminated water there, will work out by early November a set of additional measures to deal with any possible troubles at the plant, government officials said. The government made the decision at an inaugural meeting that day of Cabinet ministers involved in the decommissioning of reactors at the plant and measures against contaminated water there. In a speech at the International Olympic Committee's general session in Buenos Aires earlier in September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought international support for Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games by pledging that the government would take the responsibility for settling issues stemming from the nuclear disaster. The task force will listen to experts from a wide range of fields, including academics, experts of plant engineering companies and overseas experts engaged in reactor decommissioning work. The government will also strengthen its publicity to foreign countries to help Tokyo host the 2020 Olympics successfully, the officials said. Through Japanese embassies, the government has so far provided information on contaminated water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and data on radioactive substances detected from marine products. The government plans to directly provide such information to foreign media organizations with the help of the Foreign Ministry to allay foreign consumers' concern that Japanese products might be contaminated with radioactive substances. Toshimitsu Motegi, minister of economy, trade and industry, will lead the 32-member team consisting of senior vice ministers from foreign, agriculture and other ministries, as well as Shunichi Tanaka, head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.