Convenience store opens in Tamura city’s Miyakoji area with evacuation advisory lifted

A convenience store opened in the Miyakoji district of Tamura city, Fukushima Prefecture, on Jan. 21. The move followed the lifting last April of an evacuation advisory imposed there after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. The FamilyMart outlet is the first shop in the district run by a major convenience store chain operator. FamilyMart set up the Miyakoji outlet at the request of the Reconstruction Agency and the Tamura city office, both seeking to help evacuated residents return home by improving the living environment. The privately owned plot of land on which the store stands has been bought by the city for let to FamilyMart. The 24/7 store is open around the clock. It sells a broader range of daily necessities such as tofu, “natto” fermented soybeans and seasonings than other outlets. It also has 10 tables with seats for eating and resting. All employees are Miyakoji residents, including store manager Hiromi Furukawa, 34. “I’m happy if the presence of the convenience store offers one of the motives that encourage evacuees to consider returning home,” she said. “I’d like to make the store a place where local people enjoy gathering.” (Translated by Kyodo News)