Evacuees from Tamura's Miyakoji area allowed to stay at home until Oct.
The central government on Aug. 1 allowed evacuees from the Miyakoji district in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, to remain at their homes for three months as the district readies for the lifting of an evacuation order. This is the first time that evacuees from the nuclear disaster have been allowed to stay at their homes for a long period of time, other than for the year-end through New Year and long-holiday seasons. Residents in areas readying for the lifting of evacuation orders can stay at their homes until the end of October. Their friends and relatives can also stay if the residents apply for permission. The central government, which has taken the measure as part of efforts to restore the residents' ordinary lives in the event of the lifting of the evacuation orders, plans to discuss with city government officials and the residents when the evacuation orders should be lifted. Business operators in the retail, restaurant and lodging industries are also allowed to resume their business operations. The measure covers about 380 people in some 120 households, of whom 112 people of 28 families applied for permission by July 31 to stay at their homes. Among the returnees were Tokuhiro Watanabe and his family members who have evacuated to Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. Seven members of his family returned to their home in the Miyakoji district and enjoyed fireworks after dinner on Aug 1. (Caption) Watanabe and his family members enjoy fireworks at their home at around 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 1.