Evacuation Order Lifted For Part of Fukushima Town

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People stroll along a row of blooming cherry trees in the Yonomori district in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday.

FUKUSHIMA — An evacuation order designated as a difficult-to-return zone was lifted for an area of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday.

The order, put in place following the accident at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, was lifted at 9 a.m. The Yonomori district, known for its row of about 400 cherry blossom trees stretching about 2.2 kilometers, was one of the areas affected by the order. Local people celebrated under the full bloom of the trees after the restriction was lifted.

The order covered an area of about 3.9 square kilometers specified for reconstruction and revitalization, where the government placed priority on decontamination efforts. The area is located near JR Yonomori Station on the Joban Line, and National Highway Route 6. At the time of the accident at the plant, about 4,000 people, or more than 20% of the town’s population, lived in the area.

As of March 1, there were 2,580 residents from 1,143 households registered in the town. The evacuation order has been lifted for most of the town since April 2017. The latest announcement means about 93% of the town’s total area has now had restrictions lifted.