evacuation, fukushima, kawauchi, NHK, nuclear radiation, relocation

Fukushima village prepares for repopulation, nhk, 4/2/12

A village designated as an evacuation zone in the aftermath of last year’s nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant is calling on its residents to come home.

The central government lifted its ban on entering Kawauchi Village in Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday, allowing free access to all parts of the village. Almost all of the village’s approximately 3,000 residents fled after the accident. About 2,700, or 90 percent, have not yet returned for fear of radiation contamination and other concerns.

The village held a ceremony at its municipal office on Monday to formally appoint employees to their new positions. The village government has had to operate outside the evacuation zone until recently.

At the ceremony, Mayor Yuko Endo said the village should make progress toward reconstruction one step at a time.

The village plans to provide homes in areas that have been determined to be safe. It says it will press ahead with decontamination work and job creation to be ready for the residents’ return.

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About liz

from the u.s., recently moved from kobe to sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.

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