No. of Fukushima child evacuees down 567 to 17,487 as of April 1

The number of people younger than 18 evacuated after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi power plant stood at 17,487 as of April 1, down 567 from the previous surveyed total as of Oct. 1, 2017, the Fukushima prefectural government said in a report on June 4. Among them, children living inside the prefecture away from home numbered less than 10,000 for the first time since the local government began surveying evacuees on April 1, 2012. According to the latest survey results, child evacuees who remain inside Fukushima totaled 9,912, down 168 from the previous survey. Children still evacuated outside the prefecture numbered 7,575, down 399. Minamisoma city topped the municipal list of child evacuees with 3,654, followed by Namie town with 2,725 and Okuma town with 1,927. The latest tally of evacuated children represented a decline of 12,622 from 30,109 as of April 1, 2012. Officials of the prefectural government's child/youth policy section attributed the downtrend to the lifting of evacuation orders in most municipalities and completion of public housing for disaster victims, among other factors. "We would like to partner with municipal governments in allowing children to return to their hometowns in the prefecture and to push ahead with measures to ensure an environment where parents can raise children with peace of mind," one official said. (Translated by Kyodo News)