The central government announced on May 27 that it will remove on July 12 an evacuation order for the bulk of Minamisoma city in place since the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. According to the announcement made at a press conference at the city office following talks between the national and prefectural governments and municipal authorities, the measure will cover a zone being prepared for the lifting of the evacuation order and another zone where residency is restricted. But a “difficult-to-return zone” will remain in force.
The move will be formalized at a meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters to be held shortly. Initially, the government had sought to lift the order on July 1 but postponed it, citing an incomplete living environment and other reasons. It will be the first time for an evacuation order to be eliminated in a Fukushima Prefecture area involving more than 10,000 residents.
To be affected by the measure will be 10,508 people of 3,395 households in the preparatory zone and 459 others of 121 families in the residency-restricted zone.