Kawauchi village to have last evacuation area removed in spring

The office of a central government task force in Fukushima Prefecture battling to assist recovery from the 2011 nuclear accident indicated on Jan. 23 that it is poised to eliminate the last evacuation area in the village of Kawauchi sometime this spring. The area, covering the Ogi and Kainosaka districts on the eastern edge of the village, is designated as a zone to prepare for the existing evacuation order to be lifted. The planned elimination from the government’s evacuation list means the entire village will be free from evacuation areas. The Fukushima office of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters unveiled the plan at a meeting with residents in the districts held at a support center in the village. The office is to fix the date for removing the area from the evacuation list on the basis of local conditions and consultations with residents concerned. The period of temporary stays at homes in the area, scheduled to end on Jan. 31, will be extended until its designation as an evacuation preparation zone is lifted. Eight villagers in the districts attended the meeting. Government officials briefed them on the latest radiation dosage data and other local conditions. Some residents told the meeting that they cannot return home permanently without repair of their damaged residences. Others expressed concerns over lingering effects of radioactive substances. The two districts have 52 residents of 19 households registered as of Jan. 23. (Translated by Kyodo News)