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Kawauchi residents don't want evacuation order lifted

 July 10, 2014

Gov't to lift evacuation order on Fukushima village amid residents' opposition



The government is planning to lift an evacuation order on part of a Fukushima Prefecture village within a 20-kilometer radius from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, making it the second such case since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster.

The evacuation order for the eastern part of Kawauchi village will be lifted on July 26, the government told the Kawauchi village office, its village assembly and district mayors' association on July 9. The move comes after the government concluded that the radiation levels and infrastructure improvements in the village have met conditions for residents' permanent return.

If the order is lifted, the area will be the second such case in the prefecture following the Miyakoji district of the city of Tamura, where an evacuation order was terminated in April. However, it is uncertain whether the evacuation order on the eastern part of Kawauchi will be lifted as scheduled because many residents are demanding the lifting be postponed. The government will hold a briefing session for residents on July 13 and 14.

The central government also conveyed to local authorities in Kawauchi that it is planning to ease the designation of a residency restriction zone in the village into an area preparing for the lifting of an evacuation order.

Starting in April, 275 residents in 139 households in an area preparing for the lifting of an evacuation order became entitled to a longer stay at their homes. They are part of the 329 residents in 157 households in the village's evacuation zone within a 20-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. However, there are only a handful of residents who have actually returned to the village for a lengthy stay.

Hiroo Inoue, counselor for the Cabinet Office's support team for nuclear disaster victims, and his fellow officials visited the Kawauchi village office on July 9 and explained that the yearly additional exposure doses stood below 20 millisieverts thanks to the completion of decontaminated work and that improving the infrastructure was almost complete.

An administrative district hosting some 80 percent of residents whose residential areas' evacuation orders are planned to be lifted on July 26 filed a six-point request with the Kawauchi village office at the end of June, demanding decontamination work be redone and the lifting of the evacuation order be postponed.

July 10, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

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