Temporary shopping center opened in Naraha to encourage evacuees' return home

A temporary facility housing three shops opened in front of the town office of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 31 in a move to encourage the return home of residents evacuated after the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At a ceremony marking the occasion, Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said the facility, dubbed a "Kokonara Shopping Center," is an important one and pledged to support it. Reconstruction minister Takumi Nemoto, a lower house member elected from Fukushima's No. 2 constituency, gave a congratulatory address, and joined other officials, including the mayor and Fukushima Vice Governor Masao Uchibori, in a ribbon-cutting. The shops are "Oraho-tei" selling ice cream and other sweets, a branch of noodle shop "Take-chan Shokudo" and a "V Chain" supermarket outlet. Residents and reconstruction workers visited the facility. "I bought sashimi (sliced raw fish) for dinner at the supermarket. It's very convenient," said Mizuki Watanabe, a 73-year-old housewife living in makeshift housing for evacuees in Iwaki city and staying at her home in the town on a temporary basis. (Translated by Kyodo News)