Half of the households of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, wish to eventually return to the town after being forced to evacuate due to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, according to the interim results of a survey by the town released on Aug. 22.
The Tomioka town government sent questionnaires to 7,150 households on July 6 and 3,150 households, or 44.1 percent, replied. The questionnaires covered such items as whether they intend to return to the town, how long they can wait until they return and where public housing should be built to be rented out to those who lost their homes in the March 2001 earthquake-tsunami disaster that crippled the nuclear power plant.
Of the respondents, 807 households, or 26 percent, said they will select places they live by themselves and wait until they can return to the town, while 761 households, or 24 percent, said they will live in public housing for those who lost homes due to the disaster and wait until they can return to the town.
Meanwhile, 1,005 households said they will not return to the town, accounting for 32 percent, little changed from 34 percent in the survey last December.
Of the 761 households who said they will live in public housing for disaster victims, 479 households cited places around the city of Iwaki as a possible site for such public housing, accounting for 63 percent, the biggest portion. This was followed by areas in the town of Tomioka with low radiation doses cited by 109 households, or 14 percent, and places around the city of Koriyama cited by 100 households, or 13 percent.
When asked about desired attributes of candidate sites for public housing for disaster victims, 584 households cited satisfactory services by hospitals and welfare facilities, 504 houses cited the provision of houses they can live for a long period of time, and 442 households cited easy-to-access places.
Of those who replied they will wait until they can return, 791 households, or 50 percent, the largest portion, said they can wait for up to six years.
The town compiles the final results of the survey by the end of August.
(Translated by Kyodo News)