Japanese Evacuees to Return Home

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday that the government will decide in January whether to allow evacuated residents of nuclear accident-stricken municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, to return home.

Kan made the remark when he met with Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of the town of Futaba, which has Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Futaba residents have been evacuated to a former high school in this eastern Japan city.

If Tokyo Electric Power proceeds with measures in its April road map for bringing the plant under control, the situation of the reactors there will be stable at the start of 2012, Kan told Idogawa.

The government will decide at that time whether to allow evacuees to return home, after measuring radiation levels in the affected towns including Futaba, Kan said.

For Futaba, however, Kan said the government will consult with the town on what is possible, he said.

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