Top Japanese government officials say that some areas around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will likely remain off-limits for several decades.
Recent readings within 20 kilometers of the plant show dangerous radiation levels several times higher than international safety standards.
Officials say the government is considering providing further support to evacuated residents, including long-term housing. The government may also buy the land to be used for the storage of nuclear waste and debris.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan is set to visit Fukushima on Saturday and meet with the provincial governor Yuehi Sato to explain the government's policy.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.