Japan delaying cleanup of towns near the crippled Fukushima's nuclear power plant

TOKYO (AP) - Radiation cleanup in some of the most contaminated towns around Fukushima's nuclear power plant is far behind schedule, so residents will have to wait a few more years before returning.

Environment Ministry officials said Monday they are revising the cleanup schedule for six municipalities. The original plan called for completing decontamination by next March.

An International Atomic Energy Agency team is also finishing a weeklong visit to check cleanup progress in Kawauchi, a less-contaminated community where an evacuation order was lifted earlier this year.

The government hopes to restore lost communities in some areas around the plant, but challenges remain in ensuring food safety and job security.

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