9 September, 2015
Lifting of Evacuation Order for Naraha Town Marks Step Forward toward Reconstruction of Fukushima
At 12:00 a.m. on September 5, the Japanese government lifted the evacuation order for Naraha Town in Fukushima Prefecture. A ceremony was later held to pray for reconstruction of the area.
After the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS) in March 2011, the town had been initially designated as a restricted area (that is, an off-limits zone). In 2012, the designation was changed to “an area where the evacuation order will soon be lifted.” The entire town remained evacuated throughout that period.
The town continued to work with three priorities–restoring a secure living environment, enhancing measures to support the rebuilding of lives, and creating a livable, attractive community—all with the aim of achieving a “reborn Naraha.”
Upon the lifting of the order, Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto issued a message, saying, “The hands of the clock that had stopped for the town are again moving.” He said that the restoration of the living environment–decontamination and recovery of infrastructure–had been accelerated, allowing efforts to progress.
The mayor went on to say that the lifting of the order was only the starting line for reconstruction. The finish line, he said, was an environment where the people could live peacefully and be “rich of mind,” thus showing his determination to build a new town together with its citizens.