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Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday he intends to visit Fukushima Prefecture as early as Saturday to tell local officials and residents that some areas near Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s radiation-emitting Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are likely to remain no-go zones for a long time.
Kan is expected to explain that some of the areas with high radiation exposure will have to be declared off-limits — even after the crippled power plant's reactors are finally coaxed into a cold shutdown.
"We cannot deny the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes over a long period of time," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
Edano said the final decision on assigning no-entry designations will be made after considering the outcome of a detailed radiation monitoring and decontamination plan for areas within 20 km of the plant and after consulting those communities.