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11 August, 2015

Decided: Evacuation Order for Naraha Town to Be Lifted on September 5

On August 7, the members of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters convened at the Japanese prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, where they discussed and formally decided the lifting of the evacuation order for Naraha Town in Fukushima Prefecture, to become effective on September 5.

On July 6, Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, notified the town and prefecture that they could expect the lifting. As one of two METI senior vice ministers, he heads the on-site headquarters of the nuclear disaster response task force.

Noting that this will be the first lifting for a municipality from which all residents had been evacuated, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would assist the town even more than it had done already. He also said, “In order for the residents to successfully return to their hometown, the livelihoods and lives of those affected will have to be rebuilt.”

The prime minister then announced that a joint public-private team consisting of more than 100 people would be established this month to support self-reliant efforts by entrepreneurs.

According to the basic guidelines for reconstruction in response to the giant earthquake of March 2011, which were revised in June, evacuation orders for all other areas — except those designated as places “where residents will not be able to return home for a long time” — will be lifted by March 2017 at the latest, six years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants.

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