Abe visits crippled nuclear plant over toxic water leaks

TOKYO, (PNA/Xinhua) –Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday visited the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant over its highly contaminated water leaks amid world concerns over the issue.

The visit was the first one since last December when Abe re-claimed the post of prime minister and paid a short visit to the prefecture.

Local reports, quoting government officials, said the latest visit is designed to show the government’s desire to take the lead in tackling the issue.

Abe said the government will play a major role in handling the problem, including earmarking budgetary spending on necessary measures.

The toxic water has been increasing daily as a result of continuing water injections into the three reactors of the plant that suffered meltdowns in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Abe assured the world at Argentina earlier this month in a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the situation in the damaged nuclear plant is “under control,” helping Tokyo win the right to host the 2020 Summer Games.

However, Kazuhiko Yamashita, a senior official of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled facility, said on Sept. 13 that situation in the stricken plant was “out of control.”