Ratio of people wanting to return to Iitate village up 8.1 points

The Reconstruction Agency's latest survey has found the proportion of evacuees from Iitate village, Fukushima Prefecture, desiring to return to their hometown increased 8.1 percentage points to 29.4 percent from the previous survey in November 2013. The results of the fiscal 2014 survey for the village were released by the agency on March 6. Iitate was the last among the prefecture's municipalities to see the outcome of a round of surveys taken during the current fiscal year through March 31 concerning evacuees' intention to return to their hometowns. Among the seven towns and villages for which each survey asked about residents' desire to return, the proportion of people thinking of going back grew in five municipalities. An official of the Reconstruction Agency said the increase was probably because "decontamination work has progressed and more residents are thinking more positively about returning." Another factor that is believed to have led to more people expressing their desire to go back is the addition to the survey's response choices of a note saying "includes a desire to return in the future." Of the respondents from Iitate, 32.5 percent said they have not yet decided, down 3.6 points from the previous survey, and 26.5 percent said they have decided not to return, down 4.3 points. (Translated by Kyodo News)