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Japan Opens New Research Organization in Fukushima

The government established a new research organization in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday to promote the reconstruction of the Tohoku northeastern region from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

The Fukushima Institute for Research, Education and Innovation, or F-REI, opened a temporary office in Namie, a town near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Its research will focus on robotics, agriculture, energy, radiation science and nuclear disasters.

F-REI “aims to be a dream and hope for Tohoku’s reconstruction while working as a core center for creative reconstruction that will lead efforts to strengthen our science and technology capabilities and industrial competitiveness,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at an opening ceremony.

It plans to spend about ¥100 billion over the seven years from fiscal 2023, which began Saturday. It has an initial staff of about 60 and the number is projected to increase to hundreds by fiscal 2029.

In fiscal 2023, F-REI will mainly engage in promotional activity about its roles and functions while outsourcing research. It is scheduled to open full-scale facilities by fiscal 2030.

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