The Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday that in the first three months, it hopes to reduce the level of radiation leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
Three to six months after that, the company then hopes to get the release of radioactive materials under control, eventually allowing evacuated residents to return home.
The plan includes covering the damaged reactor buildings to contain the radiation and removing the nuclear fuel.
While the government said the timeframe was realistic, those forced to flee their homes, jobs and farms were frustrated that their exile is not going to end soon. And officials acknowledge that unforeseen complications, or even another natural disaster, could set that timetable back even further.
In a show of support for a staunch American ally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tokyo Sunday meeting with the emperor and empress, visiting evacuation centers and assessing some of the hardest hit areas.
Clinton promised solidarity and support for the ravaged country as it recovers from the earthquake and tsunami.
She also announced the formation of a public-private partnership to encourage investment in the recovery effort.
Meantime, a small piece of history from Japan's earthquake and tsunami is coming to the U.S.
Seven handwritten, poster-sized newspapers produced in the immediate aftermath of the disaster will be displayed at the Newseum, a museum of journalism in Washington D.C.
Newseum officials said the work is significant because when power was knocked out after the quake and tsunami, editors resorted to printing the news using only pen and paper.
The Newseum will display the papers in May.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.