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Tuesday, 12th July 2016
In General Japan News,

Japan?s government removes evacuation orders on Fukushima

Some 10,000 people will be able to return home to Fukushima, after the Japanese government removed evacuation orders on the region.

The orders have been in place across the prefecture since March 2011 when a nuclear disaster occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi complex.

Now, residents of the city of Minamisoma can return to their homes after a period of absence lasting five years.

Only one area, which contains a solitary house, is deemed not fit to return to, with the rest of the city expected to spring back to life.

It could be difficult for those returning, however, as they have settled in other areas and it is thought some may not be eager to live in their former homes.

Evacuation orders are slowly being lifted in areas within a 20-kilometre radius of the nuclear plant, as ongoing radiation clean-up work meets its targets.

Fukushima Prefecture has seen eight of its municipalities designated evacuation zones, with each one falling into one of three categories depending on the level of radiation present.

In the most seriously affected zone it is thought that residents will not be able to return for a long time and by then, they may not wish to.

The registered population for the areas of Minamisoma that are now deemed safe stands at 10,807 across 3,487 households.

Infrastructure has been prepared in the city, including the reopening of hospitals and temporary commercial facilities in order to make going back more appealing.

Trains are being run by the East Japan Railway Company on a nine-kilometre stretch of line between Haranomachi and Odaka stations, which are both located in Fukushima.

It has also reconnected the Joban line to Tokyo, which many of the residents have been awaiting with anticipation as a symbol of a return to normality.

The Japanese government intends to have all remaining evacuation orders, except for those enforced on the most heavily contamination zones, to be lifted by March 2017.

Related news stories:
Chernobyl and Fukushima to be monitored from space (28th August 2013)
Fukushima mothers perform at Carnegie Hall (21st October 2013)
Fukushima residents suffer obesity due to outside-ban (2nd January 2013)
French TV says sorry for Fukushima joke (17th October 2012)