Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined a ceremony on Saturday to mark the reopening of parts of Tomioka town as evacuation orders were lifted in parts of the town located southwest of Fukushima nuclear power plant.
An earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused leakage of massive radiations from the plant. This, in turn, caused the evacuation of more than 160,000 residents. Only two sections of Tomioka, Yonomori and Osuge, have been reopened last week.
Other large areas of Tomioka, however, were reopened in 2017, while another eleven nearby towns remain marked as no-go zones.
Tomioka Mayor Ikuo Yamamoto told the Associated Press “The living environment and many other things still need to be sorted out.”
Only 10 percent of the town’s original population of 16,000 have returned to it since 2017, Associated Press declared.
Kishida referred to how lifting entry restrictions is just “the start of the recovery.”Eiko Yoshida, Namie Mayor expressed at the ceremony how he is having “mixed feelings” about residents not being able to return.
It is especially harder for families and youth to re-establish their lives and settle, given limited job opportunities and insufficient infrastructure.