Japan investigating whether prefectures have sufficient iodine supplies for residents

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Iodine tablets scandal in Niigata Pref.

Last month an official from Niigata Prefecture admitted to pretending to order 1.3 million iodine tablets, which are meant to be distributed to residents 30 kilometers around the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in case of a nuclear emergency.

Documents provided by the prefecture showed that the tablets were ordered, and the prefecture received an 8 million yen subsidy, but later the official confessed to forging and falsifying documents which supported his claim to have ordered the tablets.

Next week officials from Japan’s central government, who are in charge of nuclear disaster prevention, will visit Niigata Prefecture to investigate the case.

In response to the findings in Niigata Prefecture, the central government has also initiated an investigation into whether other prefectures have necessary iodine supplies for their residents who live within 30 kilometers of a nuclear power plant.

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