06:55 GMT +326 September 2017
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    A Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) employee walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the company's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, on February 23, 2017

    Abe Dismisses Opposition Demands to Minister Over Fukushima Evacuees Remarks

    © AFP 2017/ Tomohiro Ohsumi / POOL
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday dismissed calls of the country's opposition to remove Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura in the context of his gaffes about the absence of state support of people, who have voluntarily left the Fukushima prefecture after the disaster at the local nuclear power plant.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Imamura during a press conference that the Japanese government was not responsible for providing assistance to people, who decided to leave the Fukushima prefecture voluntarily. The remarks of the official had been criticized by Japan's opposition parties that had demanded the resignation of the official.

    "I want [Imamura] to continue to be alongside those affected by the disaster and devote every effort to his duties with the aim of [implementing] reconstruction as soon as possible," Abe said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

    Earlier on Thursday, Imamura had also apologized for his remarks at a session of a committee of the lower house of the parliament that was responsible for the reconstruction after the 2011 disaster.

    In March 2011, an earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit the NPP in the Fukushima prefecture and resulted in a leakage of radioactive materials. Following the incident, Japanese authorities had evacuated local residents, however several of them had also left Fukushima on their own.

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    Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan
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