12 Years On: Fukushima Policeman Preparing for Evacuees' Return


Futaba, Fukushima Pref., March 11 (Jiji Press)--The sole resident policeman in Futaba is determined to create a safe environment for evacuees retuning to the Fukushima Prefecture town after a partial removal of the nuclear disaster evacuation order.

"I want to make our town a place where people can return without any concerns," said Hiroki Umemiya, the 41-year-old sergeant stationed at the Futaba residential police box in northeastern Japan.

The police box, located around 300 meters from JR Futaba Station, reopened in line with the partial lifting of the evacuation order in August last year, after a shutdown that lasted over 11 years.

Futaba had been entirely put under the evacuation order triggered by the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which followed a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

The police box was central to the security of the town, which had some 7,000 residents. But its functions were halted due to the nuclear disaster. The police box was left without any officer stationed full time.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press