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Namie resigned to reclassification

August 3, 2012



Fukushima town set to accept reclassified evacuation zone plan



NAMIE, Fukushima -- Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba says his town will accept a central government plan to reclassify evacuation zones established in the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

All Namie residents have evacuated from the town, which has been divided into no-go and planned evacuation zones. On Aug. 2 Baba told the Mainichi Shimbun that his town would accept the central government's plan to reclassify evacuation zones in Namie, one of 11 municipalities under evacuation orders.

Of the 11 cities, towns and villages, five including the town of Naraha, which will formally implement the reclassification plan on Aug. 10, will go along with the central government's plan. Namie's decision to agree to the reclassification may accelerate negotiations between the central government and the remaining Fukushima Prefecture municipalities.

Mayor Baba had refused to enter into negotiations with the state, saying the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had failed to fully explain a revival plan for the 11 nuclear crisis-hit municipalities with designated evacuation zones. But the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in July announced standards for claiming damages relating to real estate and other properties in accordance with the wishes of the affected municipalities. Mayor Baba welcomed the METI announcement, saying certain amounts of compensation have been disclosed. He plans to take steps to win consent for the reclassification plan from the town assembly and hold briefings for town residents.

Under the new reclassification plan, the town will be classified into three zones based on the amount of annual radiation exposure -- a hard-to-return zone, a zone with residential restrictions and a zone being prepared for the lifting of evacuation orders. The central government will formally decide on the newly redrawn zones in October.

The new standards for damage claims stipulate that claims for real estate damage in the three zones will be fully compensated if the evacuation orders last more than six years after the nuclear disaster. Town residents will be able to return home after March 2017 when the amount of damages will become equal for all residents of the town.




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