Major Fukushima Beach Reopens After Seven Years (News)
Iwaki, Fukushima Pref., July 15 (Jiji Press)—Usuiso Beach in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, reopened Saturday to bathers for the first time in seven years. The last time the bathing area was open to beachgoers was in the summer of 2010, before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident.
Usuiso is one of the largest beaches in the northeastern Japan prefecture, with about 260,000 visitors in 2010.
It closed down in 2011 due to the disaster and triple meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The beach reopened after tide embankment construction was completed and safety was confirmed by radiation checks on seawater.
After performing the hula at a ceremony, local high school girls headed toward the water's edge. "The waves were higher and colder than I had expected," said Konno Aoi, a 17-year-old high-school senior.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]