Joban Line Returns to Full Service 9 Years after Disasters

Society Guide to Japan

Futaba, Fukushima Pref., March 14 (Jiji Press)--The Joban Line resumed operations on Saturday in a disaster-hit section between Tomioka Station and Namie Station near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, after nine years of suspension.

The 20.8-kilometer section in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima was the last on the Joban Line to return to service after being hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at the plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501>.

The railway once again linked together local communities along the coast of Fukushima, raising hopes for accelerated reconstruction from the disasters in the region.

The Joban Line, operated by East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, chiefly runs along the Pacific coast to connect Tokyo with Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, passing through Fukushima and other prefectures. The tsunami swept away stations, rails and bridges along the line.

Parts of the line fell within government-designated difficult-to-return zones with relatively high radiation levels, with decontamination work conducted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press