Japan says battle to stop nuclear plant leaks 'urgent'
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's prime minister on Wednesday said Tokyo would get more involved in cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as he described as "urgent" a battle to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ocean.
The government's more prominent role comes as critics attack plant operator Tokyo Electric Power and its handling of the more than two-year-old atomic crisis, the worst nuclear accident in a generation.
The embattled utility - kept afloat by a government bail out - last month admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater had been leaking outside the plant, confirming long-held suspicions of ocean contamination from its shattered reactors.
It has since said tainted water has been escaping into the Pacific for more than two years.