Four towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture have yet to formulate recovery plans 18 months after the devastating March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, a Mainichi survey has found — underscoring the long-term effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the quake.
The Mainichi conducted a survey on recovery measures in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures ahead of the 1 1/2 year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 disaster. Municipalities were given until late August to submit responses.
In Fukushima Prefecture, the Mainichi surveyed 15 municipalities in coastal areas and evacuation zones. The town of Namie was one of four municipalities in the prefecture that have yet to form reconstruction plans. It said the nuclear disaster had prevented it from doing so.
Two of the 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture that have already formed recovery plans said they were planning to revise those initiatives. The town of Kawamata responded that it would revise measures on the return of evacuees, while the town of Naraha, which has also been affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, explained that it would revise its recovery preparations as “daily circumstances have been changing since the formulation of plans, as seen in the rezoning of no-go areas.”
Moves have been progressing in areas hit by the March 2011 tsunami to relocate communities as a disaster prevention measure. The Fukushima Prefecture municipalities of Shinchi, Soma and Minamisoma have received approval from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for the relocation of all homes under such measures, while the city of Iwaki has received approval for some 70 percent of homes due to be relocated. However, the town of Tomioka has not yet received approval for any home relocations. Officials say they will handle the issue once evacuation districts are realigned and work is carried out to decontaminate the town from radioactive materials emanating from the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
A shortage of manpower has been raised as an issue in areas recovering from the disaster, but 11 municipalities in the prefecture have received support workers from other local bodies. Most of the 11 cities, towns and villages that gave concrete figures for the shortage of workers said they lacked technical workers.