Shizuoka Pref. to remove soil mounds left after deadly Atami mudslide

Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan has decided to remove mounds of soil that remain after a deadly mudslide last year as the real estate company that used to own the land failed to take any measures.

The prefecture had ordered the company Shinkansen Building to start removal work by Monday to prevent further landslides. The mounds were built on a plot of land the firm owned in the city of Atami.

The prefectural government decided on Tuesday to carry out the removal work itself after confirming that the company had not taken any action.

Officials hope the removal work will begin as early as mid-October and be completed by next year's rainy season. They say the real estate firm will be billed for costs of the work.

Shizuoka Vice Governor Mori Takashi said that the prefecture decided to start the process because restoration and reconstruction work would be delayed if the soil is not taken away.

Former Shinkansen Building representative, Amano Fumio, told reporters the company has no intention of removing the mounds unless it is given clear evidence they were put there by the company.