The evacuees from the surrounding areas of Fukushima nuclear plant, will not be able to return to their villages any time soon, Japanese officials have announced.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that due to the continuing nuclear threat, the evacuation zone was to be upheld “long-term”.

“So therefore, we are giving instructions on how to proceed with the continuation of children’s’ education, and the employment of people who are unable to work because of the evacuation order,” he said.

Another earthquake hits Japan

Japan tsunami benefit concert

Over 70,000 people have so far been evacuated from areas within 20km (12-mile) around the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Outside of the evacuation zone, the government is now also encouraging another 136,000 people in a 10km range outside of the restricted evacuation zone, to leave or stay inside with doors and windows closed.

Meanwhile, the authorities have decided not to follow the advice of UN’s atomic agency – to expand the exclusion zone around the plant.

The UN agency made the recommendation after radioation exceeded the safety limits 40km away, in the village of Iitate.

Radiation levels in the sea have also soared to 4,385 times the limit over the last few days.