No. of Fukushima child evacuees at 23,498 as of April 1, down 1,375 from October

The number of evacuees aged under 18 stood at 23,498 in Fukushima Prefecture as of April 1 this year, down 1,375 from the previous survey taken as of Oct. 1 last year, according to evacuation statistics related to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and resultant nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant released by the prefectural government on June 11. Of the total, 12,006 were child evacuees within the prefecture, down 431, while the number of children who evacuated to locations outside the prefecture totaled 11,492, decreasing 944 in half a year. A breakdown by municipality is shown in the table. Minamisoma city had the largest number of child evacuees at 4,729. Fukushima city saw the largest number of children evacuated outside the prefecture at 2,034, followed by Koriyama city with 2,001 and Minamisoma with 1,874. The chart shows how the number of evacuees has changed since 2012. The number of child evacuees in and outside Fukushima Prefecture has been on the decline since 2013. The prefectural government believes that factors which have prompted some residents to return to their homes include the decrease in the amount of radiation in the air stemming from decontamination work and natural attenuation as well as its childrearing support measures such as providing medical treatment at no charge for children aged 18 and below. Given the presence of more than 20,000 child evacuees, a prefectural government official in charge of measures related to children and youth said, "We would like to proceed with steps that will lead to relieving concerns over childrearing." (Translated by Kyodo News)