The town’s application will follow those of the following municipalities:

  • Toyo Town in Kochi Prefecture (applied in 2007, later withdrawn)
  • Suttsu Town in Hokkaido (applied in October 2020, with surveys now being carried out)
  • Kamoenai Village in Hokkaido (accepted a request from the national government in October 2020, with surveys now being carried out)

At a press conference held the same afternoon, Chief Cabinet Secretary HAYASHI Masayoshi first expressed his respect and gratitude for the decision by Genkai Town, emphasizing its significance by saying, “This is a very important step that should inspire deepened society-wide discussions on the national issue of HLW final disposal.”

Referring to examples of selection processes overseas, Hayashi then said that “increasing the areas for literature surveys is important” for Japan, again citing the need to continue discussions across the country.

President KONDO Shunsuke of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) released a comment in which he reiterated recognition that “final disposal is an important issue that our entire society will have to resolve.” He said that NUMO wanted as many regions of the country as possible to accept implementation of literature surveys.

Chairman HAYASHI Kingo of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) also released a comment, saying that FEPC, bearing basic responsibility from its position generating HLW, would endeavor to deepen interest and understanding among people throughout the regions of Japan via dialogue, in cooperation with the national government and NUMO.

Literature surveys represent the first stage in the selection of preliminary investigation sites under the Designated Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act, and consist of reviews of literature and data regarding regional geology around municipalities that manifest interest. For a period of about two years while a literature survey is being conducted, a grant of up to JPY 2 billion (around USD 12.8 million) is provided to the region by the national government.

In light of the discussions by the Genkai town assembly on accepting a literature survey this time, MATSUYAMA Yasuhiro, Deputy Commissioner of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), who also serves as director general for final disposal policy, visited the town on May 1 to hand-deliver Mayor Wakiyama a document requesting the survey.