Some Areas in Fukushima to Be Removed from Evacuation Zone in March

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Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Friday it will partially lift the evacuation order issued to three towns in Fukushima Prefecture in March, paving the way for fully reopening a railway line damaged in the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

The three towns are Futaba and Okuma, which host Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and nearby Tomioka.

"The full reopening of the Joban Line will hopefully boost the reconstruction of affected areas," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting of his Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters.

The Joban Line, run by East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, is expected to be fully reopened on March 14. Currently, the section between Tomioka and Namie, another Fukushima town, is closed.

In Futaba, the evacuation order will be lifted for an area in the northeastern part of the town that faces the Pacific Ocean on March 4.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press