Fukushima’s evacuated town of Futaba to build up to 400 grave plots in common cemetery

The wholly evacuated town of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture has offered to build 300 to 400 grave plots in the proposed common cemetery for residents affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. The plan calls for the municipality to purchase a tract of land about 6,000 square meters in the town’s Shimonagatsuka district. Futaba officials outlined the plan at a meeting on town administration held for evacuees at the Iwaki City Culture Center on Oct. 14. The common cemetery is to be built at the request of townspeople possessing grave sites in tsunami-devastated areas and in places where an interim nuclear waste storage site is being constructed. The town presumes each grave plot to be 6 square meters. It will also build parking lots, restrooms and an "azumaya" rest house. Currently, the cemetery is in the phase of basic design. The town is poised to launch land purchases and development in fiscal 2017, beginning next April, and start selling plots that year. The meeting was attended by about 50 townspeople, including evacuees living in Iwaki city and senior town officials. The officials briefed the evacuees on progress in drawing up the town's second restoration plan, the outline of a subsidy program for supporting daily living, and classes attended by students from municipal schools. Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa delivered a speech at the outset. The meeting is designed to hear residents' views and opinions about town administration in general. Similar meetings are to take place in and outside the prefecture through November. (Translated by Kyodo News)