Kyodo News English (4/21/2011) reports:
The government has decided to prohibit people from entering areas within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, starting midnight Thursday, government sources said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan will announce the decision to designate the zone, already covered by an evacuation directive following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, as an off-limits area when he visits Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, the sources said.
The government has already started conveying the decision to municipalities concerned, including Minamisoma and Futaba, they said.
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It's not Thursday but Friday, but that's what Kyodo English wrote.
To clarify, as of 12:00AM on Friday April 22, the residents of the 20-kilometer radius "evacuation zone" won't be allowed to enter the zone from outside. Kyodo News Japanese says Prime Minister Kan will go to Fukushima on Thursday April 21 to explain the decision to the affected municipalities within the zone.
There are people who never left the area despite the order to evacuate, and more and more people have returned since. After the government formally declares the area as "warning zone" (i.e. no-entry zone), the residents could be punished for remaining in their homes or forcibly removed.
So, what was all that talk about how safe it was within the 20-kilometer radius? Professor Yamashita of Nagasaki University and the designated health advisor to Fukushima Prefecture, would you please kindly explain? The government is way overreacting, right?