Naraha town assembly holds 1st regular meeting at its chamber since disaster

The Naraha town assembly called its June meeting at its chamber in the town hall on June 9, holding its regular session at the location for the first time since the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. "Evacuees from the town have been practicing preparatory lodging at their homes since April ahead of permanent returns," Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said before the opening of the meeting. "We decided to hold the regular June meeting at the usual chamber as a way to proceed with preparations to welcome townspeople back." "It is deeply emotional to be able to meet at the usual chamber in our hometown Naraha," Motoi Aoki, chairman of the assembly, said as he declared the meeting open. The mayor and assembly members were clad in the Japanese national soccer team’s uniform to root for female players with ties to the town as a match of the women's team was scheduled for that day in the World Cup tournament under way in Canada. Extraordinary assembly meetings were held at the town hall chamber in January and February. After the assembly fixed the duration of its meeting at three days through June 11, Matsumoto presented 11 proposals, including increasing the fiscal 2015 general account budget by 161.5 million yen, and explained the reasons for his move. A question-and-answer session followed. The proceedings for June 10 were set to include a question-and-answer session and committee deliberations. (Translated by Kyodo News)