Several prefectures in Japan’s northeast were affected by soil contamination from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. The government plans to set guidelines for its disposal as early as possible.
The soil was removed and stockpiled at thousands of sites in prefectures near Fukushima. Many of the temporary storage sites are in residential areas, including parks.
The Environment Ministry says 329,000 cubic meters of soil is currently stored in seven prefectures. They are Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama and Chiba.
The ministry has been running safety tests for burying the soil since last autumn in Ibaraki and Tochigi.
It remains to be seen whether citizens living near proposed final disposal sites will accept the plans.
The ministry says it will also study recycling the soil in public works projects to reduce the amount to be buried.