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Ex-Transport Chief Mabuchi Named Japan Nuclear Crisis Adviser

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Former transport minister Sumio Mabuchi will take charge of Japan’s nuclear reactor crisis, the government said today.

Appointed an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Mabuchi “will help strengthen our response to the disaster and the nuclear plant,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters in Tokyo.

Mabuchi, 50, a ruling Democratic Party of Japan member of the lower house of parliament, served as land and transport minister between September 2010 and January 2011.

He resigned as minister after the opposition-controlled upper house censured him and then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku in November over their handling of a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese Coast Guard vessels near islands claimed by both countries.

A tsunami following a magnitude-9 earthquake on March 11 damaged the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, resulting in radiation leaks that contaminated vegetables and drinking water. The plant is operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mayumi Otsuma in Tokyo at motsuma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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