Disasters & Accidents

Japan okays reopening of ‘difficult-to-return’ village in Fukushima

Tokyo, June 3 (EFE).- Japan Friday approved the reopening of the “difficult-to-return” area in Fukushima to residents for the first time since the nuclear disaster in March 2011.

The nearly one-sq-km area in the Katsurao village near the defunct Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a no-go zone due to radioactive contamination since the atomic leak.

Now its residents will be able to return home permanently from June 12.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said canceling evacuation orders in the remaining “difficult-to-return areas” was important for the large-scale reconstruction of Fukushima.

However, of the 30 households and 82 residents in the reopened area, only four families of eight members have agreed to return home, reported Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Some 340 sq km of land in six municipalities in Fukushima prefecture, including Katsurao, Okuma, and Futaba, remain “difficult-to-return zones.”

Futaba and Okuma are likely to lift restrictions partially from June onwards, while the other three could do so in the spring of 2023.

Kyodo reported that more than 90 percent of the difficult-to-return zone in the prefecture would remain closed since there is no timetable to make it completely accessible again. EFE

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