The Straits Times
Published on Oct 07, 2012

Japan PM tours troubled Fukushima nuclear plant


TOKYO (AFP) - Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda toured Japan's crippled Fukushima power plant on Sunday to demonstrate his resolve to end the nuclear disaster there, amid strong public scepticism about his energy policy.

Mr Noda, who reshuffled his cabinet last week before a possible snap general election, encouraged the plant's crews in their dangerous work to contain its molten reactors, according to TV footage and media reports.

"I believe that Japan has survived as we see it now thanks to your dedicated work," the premier told about a dozen people, who stayed on to work inside the plant right after a massive quake and tsunami ravaged it on March 11, 2011.

"As a Japanese, I want to thank you for exerting yourself in a frightening and demanding environment," he said at an accommodation facility for workers just outside the 20km no-go zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi plant.