TOKYO — Japan's Fukushima city said Wednesday its 300,000 people are safe from radiation from the stricken nuclear plant 60 kilometres (40 miles) away, seeking to allay fears voiced by citizen groups.
"We in Fukushima City currently believe we are not in danger," said a city spokesman, a day after a coalition of six citizens' and anti-nuclear groups voiced alarm over high radiation levels found in soil samples there.
"Of course, we acknowledge that many residents are concerned. The city has taken various measures to reduce radiation levels at schools, parks and other areas in addition to regularly monitoring radiation in the environment."
City authorities have removed top soil from school yards, washed down the walls of school buildings and cleared mud from gutters to protect children from radiation exposure, the city spokesman told AFP.
School children will soon receive radiation meters to monitor exposure, he said.
The city had also checked aerial radiation levels at more than 1,000 locations in June and carried out monitoring at schools, public buildings and other sites.
General radiation readings in Fukushima have gradually fallen since March, when an earthquake and tsunami battered the nuclear plant that went through meltdowns and explosions, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.
On Tuesday, six citizens' and anti-nuclear groups warned of high radiation found in soil samples and said children and pregnant women should be evacuated.
Radiation maps show that the areas worst affected by fallout from the the Fukushima disaster lie to the northwest, where Fukushima City is located, due to wind patterns and geographical features of the region.
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