19 April 2013
The number of women who hail from Fukushima Prefecture and give birth in their hometowns has shown a recovery trend partly because worries among pregnant women about radiation in the nuclear disaster-hit prefecture have eased, according to obstetrics and gynecology doctors on April 18.
The monthly average number of births by such women came to 188.5 in 2010, the year before the outbreak of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but declined to 117.4 in 2011 and to 73.3 in the first nine months through September in 2012, according to a survey by an association of obstetrics and gynecology doctors in the prefecture.
The monthly average came to 65.3 in the first half of 2012. In the latter half of 2012, however, the number increased to 80 in July and to 92 in August. In September, the monthly average stood at 96, compared with 72 in the same month last year, topping the year-earlier level for the first time since the nuclear disaster.
The quarterly survey covers 48 obstetrics institutions in Fukushima Prefecture, with 22 responding to the latest survey for the three months through September.
The association said the recovery trend is believed to have been continuing since October 2012.