An evacuation order will be lifted for two districts here as early as April, eight years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant spewed massive amounts of radioactive substances into the air. It would be the first time for Okuma, which co-hosts the plant, to see the evacuation order lifted, albeit partially. The Okuma town government, which moved 100 kilometers to Aizuwakamatsu in the prefecture following the disaster, reported at a meeting of town assembly members on Feb. 19 that conditions in Okuma, including radiation levels, have improved to meet the criteria for lifting the order. The town plans to discuss the schedule for lifting the order with the central government and hold a meeting in March with evacuees. “I want to explain the town’s stance in such a way that residents will fully understand,” said Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe. The entire town, with a population of 11,500, was ordered to evacuate after the onset of the nuclear crisis following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The lifting of the order is expected to cover the Ogawara and Chuyashiki districts, both southwest of the plant.
Asahi Shimbun 20th Feb 2019 read more »