Evacuation Order Lifted for Part of Fukushima Town

Society

Okuma, Fukushima Pref., June 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan lifted an evacuation order Thursday morning for a part of Okuma, a town in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, that had been in place since the March 2011 nuclear accident.

This is the first removal of an evacuation order for difficult-to-return zones in municipalities hosting Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which suffered the triple reactor meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami.

The removal of an evacuation order paves the way for former residents to return. Among difficult-to-return zones in Fukushima, an evacuation order was first removed for the village of Katsurao on June 12.

"We've finally made it to the starting line, but hard work will begin from now," Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida told reporters. "We won't rebuild the area exactly as it was before the disaster. We'll build a new town in creative ways," he said.

The evacuation order was removed Thursday for some 860 hectares of Okuma, which has been designated as a specified reconstruction zone, including an area around JR Ono Station, which was the center of the town before the nuclear accident, and the Shimonogami residential district.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press