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Japanese official wants Olympic torch relay near site of nuclear leaks

Japanese official wants Olympic torch relay near site of nuclear leaks
A 2011 file photo shows smoke rising from the Unit 3 reactor of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. (Associated Press)

When the International Olympic Committee chose Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games, critics wondered about lingering radiation from the 2011 nuclear accident in nearby Fukushima.

Officials from that area have a different perspective.

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On Tuesday, the governor of Fukushima said he wants the Olympic torch relay to pass through his prefecture in advance of the Games.

"We hope to see torch relays here so the status of our reconstruction can be reported accurately," Yuhei Sato was quoted as saying by the Mainichi Daily News.

Sato spoke to reporters after meeting with Yoshiro Mori, the former prime minister who heads the Tokyo organizing committee. Mori was quoted as saying: "We would like to thoroughly study whether that is possible."

A March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated Fukushima and crippled the plant, causing several meltdowns in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Radiation leaked into adjacent neighborhoods and thousands of residents remain displaced.

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