9 July, 2015
Evacuation Order for Naraha Town to Be Lifted on September 5
On July 6, Naraha Town of Fukushima Prefecture was given notification by the central government that it would lift the evacuation order for the town, in place since the nuclear accident in March 2011, as of September 5.
The notification was delivered by Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, who is one of the two senior vice ministers of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He heads the on-site headquarters of the nuclear disaster response task force.
In response to the notification, Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto commented, “This is deeply moving news for the town, coming more than four long years after the evacuation. Now we will aim for the town’s complete restoration.”
At the same time, the mayor noted that the confidence in safety and security, lost in the nuclear disaster, had not been fully restored. He said that it was important to resolve those issues necessary for rebuilding lives in the town and to swiftly put an environment back in place, so that residents would be able to resume normal lives in their hometown.
To that end, Mayor Matsumoto said that the town would continue to work with three priorities in place: restoring a secure living environment, enhancing measures to support the rebuilding of lives, and creating a livable, attractive community.
On April 6, the town began a program of brief preparatory stays by residents. Progress is also being made on such fronts as reconstructing and renovating houses.
After receiving the notification from State Minister Takagi on July 6, Mayor Matsumoto handed him a written request for support of the “creation of a ‘reborn’ Naraha,” beyond just its physical restoration.