The Japanese government recently announced they are lifting a four-year evacuation order on a town located 10 miles from the Fukushima disaster site, allowing residents to return full-time if they so desire, according to reports.
The evacuation order was issued in 2011 for the town of Naraha, which was among seven municipalities that were forced to vacate following a 15-meter tsunami triggered by an earthquake, subsequently resulting in the meltdown of three of Fukushima’s Daiichi reactors.
Officials have said radiation levels in Naraha have fallen to levels deemed safe following decontamination efforts.
But according to a government survey, 53% of evacuees from Naraha, which is 12 miles south of the plant, say they’re either not ready to return home or are undecided. Some say they have found jobs elsewhere over the past few years, while others cite radiation concerns. Some houses are falling down, and wild boars roam at night.
About 100,000 people from about 10 municipalities around the wrecked plant still cannot go home. The government hopes to lift all evacuation orders except for the most contaminated areas closest to the plant by March 2017 — a plan many evacuees criticize as an attempt to showcase recovery ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Other reports have raised concerns over dangerous radiation levels recorded in the area, as well as the town’s lack of infrastructure.
U.S. News and World Report states:
In the once-abandoned town, a segment of a national railway is still out of service, with the tracks covered with grass. Some houses are falling down and wild boars roam around at night.
Only about 100 of the nearly 2,600 households have returned since a trial period began in April. Last year, the government lifted evacuation orders for parts of two nearby towns, but only about half of their former residents have returned.
Source: Fukushimaz Watch