Fukushima, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)–Young people from Fukushima Prefecture forced to live as evacuees are increasingly unwilling to go home, bringing some local communities to the brink of collapse.
Some 84,000 residents from coastal communities near the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant still live as evacuees due to high radiation levels.
Two and a half years since the nuclear accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant, no prospects are in sight for them to return home, due in part to delays in decontamination work.
“Only the elderly are planning to go home,” said Susumi Yamasawa, 69, who heads a group of district chiefs in the city of Minamisoma. “It will be hard to return to how things were before.”
Yamasawa was among 10 local residents gathered at a small shrine in the city’s Odaka district, located within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant, to discuss ways to repair the shrine hit by the March 2011 earthquake.