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SBD Global/September 11, 2013/Olympics

Japan PM Abe Launches Preparations For 2020 Tokyo Olympics Amid Nuclear Concerns

Japan PM Shinzo Abe instructed his ministers to start preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, "pledging to address concerns about the Fukushima nuclear crisis," according to KYODO. Abe said, "We must make preparation swiftly and steadily." Abe said the government "will fully support the work to develop all necessary settings to secure a success." As the government has been forced to play roles in tackling the massive buildup of radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Abe said the government "will fulfill its responsibility thoroughly" (KYODO, 9/10). The ASAHI SHIMBUN reported "the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, as well as local fishermen barred from going to sea since the accident," questioned Abe's assurance that the problem of radioactive water is "under control." Abe's remarks "are credited with helping dispel concerns about radioactive water at the plant and securing the Games for Tokyo." However, sources at plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. acknowledged that "it has not been able to keep radioactive materials from flowing into the ocean completely" (ASAHI SHIMBUN, 9/10). REUTERS' Elaine Lies wrote Tokyo governor Naoki Inose returned home to the cheers of thousands on Tuesday, "thanking everyone for the support that brought the 2020 Olympic Games to Japan and vowing to get down to work to make them successful" (REUTERS, 9/10).

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