In total, 584 public-run elementary schools, junior high schools, special-needs schools, kindergartens and day-care centers, or about half of all facilities in such categories in Fukushima Prefecture, are on board.
The Asahi Shimbun found that 97 percent of the schools expect to complete the work by the end of the summer break. It is estimated that 180,000 cubic meters of soil must be removed, but no plans have been drawn up for disposing of the dirt.
The problem arose because of radioactive fallout from the quake-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The newspaper contacted all 59 municipal governments in Fukushima Prefecture to find out how the 1,160 public-run schools and other facilities in the above-cited categories planned to deal with the problem.
It learned that 584 schools in 25 municipalities had started removing ground soil or planned to do so. Of that figure, 299 had completed the task by Aug. 10 and 268 expected to be finished by the end of August when the summer vacation is over. Seventeen schools said they planned to have soil removed but had yet to draw up a schedule.
A combined 97.1 percent of the schools expected to finish the task before the start of the second (autumn to winter) semester.