Noda says dealing with Fukushima his Cabinet’s ‘top priority’


TOKYO (majirox news) — New Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Sept. 2 his Cabinet’s top priority is responding to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“It takes greater priority over anything else,” Noda told a news conference in Tokyo, referring to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continuing to ooze radiation.

Noda made the clear statement of intent to handle the crisis because widespread criticism from the public, the opposition and even his own ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) of his predecessor Naoto Kan’s handling of the problem that led to his ultimate failure in leading the country.

Nonetheless, Noda is fundamentally continuing the policies of Kan’s Cabinet. He said that Japan will continue moving toward reducing its dependence on nuclear power generation. Noda also said as prime minister he will take the lead in decontamination of evacuated areas in the hopes that evacuated residents can return to their homes as quickly as possible, a stance brought about because of criticism of the government for acting too slowly until now.

Noda also told reporters that the alliance with the United States will form the basis of Japan’s overseas diplomacy.

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