Japan’s Reconstruction Agency has found that nearly 70 percent of people who evacuated from towns hosting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant do not plan to return.
The agency surveyed evacuees from Okuma and Futaba towns in October. All residents of the towns left after the plant’s nuclear accident.
Of around 2,760 households from Okuma, 67 percent said they’ve given up on returning. Nine percent said they want to. 20 percent were undecided.
Among 1,730 households from Futaba, 65 percent said they won’t return, 10 percent said they hope to, and 17 percent were undecided.
Of the respondents from both towns who said they will not return, around 70 percent cited concerns about the safety of the damaged plant and radiation exposure.
About 65 percent said it will take too long before they are allowed to go back.
Reconstruction minister Takumi Nemoto told reporters that his agency will consult the towns to draw up plans to build public housing for evacuees and implement reconstruction projects.