Evacuation lifted in part of Iitate Village in Fukushima, hurdles to resuming residence are high

 Among the difficult-to-return zones in Iitate Village, Fukushima Prefecture due to the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, evacuation orders were lifted on January 1 for approximately 186 hectares of designated reconstruction and revitalization base areas (reconstruction bases) and about 0.64 hectares of park land outside the bases. This is the first time that a difficult-to-return zone spanning seven municipalities has been lifted outside the reconstruction base. The cancellation with the return of residents at the reconstruction bases established in six towns and villages has now been completed.

Using the former central city area as a reconstruction base, the national government has been responsible for decontamination and infrastructure development, and although evacuation has been lifted since June last year, few residents have returned. In the future, the reconstruction will be lifted under a new mechanism to determine the scope of decontamination after investigating the intention to return to the bases scattered with housing, but the hurdles to reconstruction are likely to be even higher.

At 10 a.m. on this day, at the border of the difficult-to-return zone, a government official ordered the gate to be opened. Police cars and fire trucks went out to patrol the newly lifted area.

Iitate Village, located about 30~50 km northwest of the No. 1 nuclear power plant, was forced to evacuate the entire village. In March 2017, 95% of the area was evacuated, but the southern Nagamud district remained a difficult-to-return zone.

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