UN Chief to Visit Fukushima, Meet Japanese Nuclear Evacuees

Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will tour tsunami-stricken areas near the Fukushima nuclear plant during a visit to Japan next week.

The United Nations said Tuesday that Mr. Ban wants to see first-hand the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that leveled whole towns and left more than 20,000 people dead or missing. It said he will visit an evacuation center to talk to residents who have been displaced since the tsunami caused three reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant.

Mr. Ban told Japanese media he wants to express his admiration for the way the Japanese government and people have dealt with the disasters.

The U.N. said the trip, which begins Saturday, will also take Mr. Ban to his native South Korea to launch a model U.N. conference with participation by 600 student delegates from 53 countries.

The U.N. said Mr. Ban will meet in Tokyo with Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto. In Seoul, he will meet President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan as well as other officials.