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Japan Split on Hope for Vast Radiation Cleanup via The New York Times

Now, Japan is drawing up plans for a cleanup that is both monumental and unprecedented, in the hopes that those displaced can go home.

The debate over whether to repopulate the area, if trial cleanups prove effective, has become a proxy for a larger battle over the future of Japan. Supporters see rehabilitating the area as a chance to showcase the country’s formidable determination and superior technical skills — proof that Japan is still a great power.

For them, the cleanup is a perfect metaphor for Japan’s rebirth.

Critics counter that the effort to clean Fukushima Prefecture could end up as perhaps the biggest of Japan’s white-elephant public works projects — and yet another example of post-disaster Japan reverting to the wasteful ways that have crippled economic growth for two decades.

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