9 Years On: Fukushima Municipalities Struggle to Bring Back Residents

Society Lifestyle

Fukushima, March 1 (Jiji Press)--While evacuation orders set by the Japanese government for municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture following the March 2011 nuclear accident are being gradually removed, many of the residents who moved out of their hometowns are opting not to return.

Current residents and officials of local governments concerned are worrying about the situation although the postdisaster reconstruction period in which government support can be obtained has been extended to 2030.

"It's really inconvenient," said a woman, 78, who lives in public housing built for disaster victims in the town of Namie, where the evacuation order was partially lifted at the end of March 2017.

Medical services are insufficient in the town in the northeastern Japan prefecture, with only one clinic operating at present. A supermarket opened in July last year, but its poor product lineup is forcing the woman and her husband to go shopping to a nearby city by car once a week.

Namie is close to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, where an unprecedented triple meltdown occurred following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and huge tsunami that hit mainly the Tohoku region including Fukushima on March 11, 2011.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press