As Chugoku Shinbun reports (3/24/2012) on the meeting between the Shimane Prefecture officials and the Ministry of the Environment, as long as money from the national government is coming to them the local governments will stop worrying.
Why is the Shimane prefectural government pressuring the municipalities in Shimane to accept disaster debris? The prefectural government doesn't want to miss out on the gravy train, but it has to beg the municipalities probably because the prefectural government does not have the incineration plant of its own.
I just wish I had visited this ancient place (I always wanted to visit).
Chugoku Shinbun (3/24/2012):
Shimane Prefecture held a meeting designed for the municipalities in Shimane regarding the disposal of disaster debris from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, by inviting the official from the Ministry of the Environment. Shimane was the first prefecture to hold such a meeting in the 5 prefectures in Chugoku Region. In the meeting, the safety standard of 8,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium in the ashes from burning the debris as well as the national government's policy to pay for the entire cost of disposal were emphasized to the participants.
Tsuyoshi Sekiya, head of the wide-area disposal promotion team at the Ministry of the Environment recycling division explained to 35 officials from 19 municipalities and 3 wide-area waste management unions. The disaster debris from Miyagi and Iwate to be disposed outside the prefectures was 3.44 million tonnes from Miyagi and 570,000 tonnes from Iwate, Sekiya said, and requested that they consider accepting the debris because "there is not enough capacity" in the disaster-affected areas.
Officials from the municipalities asked about the details of measures that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda indicated in early March to support wide-area disposal of the debris, including financial support from the national government for radiation measurement of the disaster debris. Sekiya could only say, "As soon as possible".
In Shimane Prefecture, the City Assembly in Matsue City [capital city] is expected to pass the resolution requesting the city to accept the debris. Shoji Kodama, manager of Matsue City's environmental protection section who attended the meeting said, "Securing the safety of the residents comes first, and we will discuss."
4 million tonnes of disaster debris from the two prefectures, less than 20% of the total debris.
How will Mr. Kodama of Shimane City secure the safety of the residents? Probably by doing what Hosono and his clowns did the other day on the street corner in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa. Wave a survey meter over the debris and scream "See? Did you see that? It's safe!"
One good thing about the article by Chugoku Shinbun is that the reporter named names. That seldom happens in the national newspapers, particularly online versions of their papers. It's always "an unnamed official" or "the government source".