The government lifted its evacuation advisory for the bulk of Kawauchi, a village within 20 km of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co., effective as from Oct. 1. The government also changed the status of the present abode-restricting zone in the western part of the village — closer to the plant and with greater levels of nuclear contamination — to a zone preparing for the lifting of an evacuation advisory. Both moves paved the way for full-fledged post-disaster reconstruction of the village.
It was the second case of an evacuation advisory being lifted following Tamura city’s Miyokoji district last April. The change in the status of the abode-restricting zone was the first of its kind in Fukushima Prefecture. Speaking on the eve of the landmark day, village mayor Yuko Endo pledged all-out efforts to rebuild Kawauchi and restore pride in the hometown by taking advantage of the government moves.
Residents in the area where the evacuation advisory was lifted numbered 275 of 139 families as of Sept. 1. Of the total, 48 people of 22 families have applied for long-term stays at their homes. Village authorities believe many of these applicants will return for permanent residence.
The number of people choosing to live in the village is increasing in line with improvements in living conditions following the completion of cleanup work. Of the village population of 2,758 as of Sept. 1, 1,476 or 53.5% live inside the village on a temporary or permanent basis.