10 Mars 2017
March 10, 2017
The Japanese government is set to lift evacuation orders in 2 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, issued after the 2011 nuclear disaster.
The government will hold a joint meeting between the reconstruction taskforce and the nuclear disaster task force on Friday. On Saturday, it will be 6 years since the earthquake and tsunami.
Participants will decide on whether to lift an evacuation order in part of Namie town on March 31st and a portion of Tomioka on April 1st.
Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the government issued evacuation orders for 11 municipalities in the prefecture and has since gradually lifted them.
With the latest measure, the orders will be in effect only in no-entry zones with high radiation levels as well as part of the towns of Futaba and Okuma that co-host the nuclear plant.
About 1,150 square kilometers were initially subject to the government evacuation order. That number is now expected to shrink to about 369.
The central government hopes to continue decontamination work and infrastructure projects in some no-entry zones. It says it wants to create a hub for reconstruction by the end of fiscal 2021, where residents and decontamination workers will live.
But the government faces challenges in rebuilding communities as an increasing number of people, mainly the young, say they don't want to return to their hometowns even if evacuation orders are lifted.