UN expert urges Japan to stop returning kids near Fukushima

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. human rights expert is urging the Japanese government to stop returning children and women of reproductive age to areas near the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant where radiation levels remain higher than what was considered safe before the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Baskut Tuncak, the independent investigator on hazardous substances and wastes, told a news conference Thursday that the government’s decision to raise by 20 times what it considered to be an acceptable level of radiation exposure was deeply troubling and could have a potentially grave impact on children’s health.

A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed three reactors at the Fukushima plant.

Tuncak said Japan should explain how its actions are in the best interest of children — and it should invite him to visit the country.

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