90% Of Evacuees Still Can't Return To Fukushima After 12 Years
On the 12th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on Mar. 11, 2023, reconstruction has progressed in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, which were both devastated by the twin disasters, Hirotaka Kojo reported for Asahi Shimbun.
Photo Insert: IAEA officials examine the scene of the devastation wrought by the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami.
However, the picture is much different in Fukushima Prefecture, where residents are struggling to overcome the impact of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami.
A total of about 31,000 evacuees are still unable to return home. While that figure is a sharp drop from the peak number of about 470,000, about 90% of the evacuees are from Fukushima.
Central government spending on reconstruction projects has been slashed from fiscal 2021, but Fukushima has not been forgotten.
For the fiscal year, of the Reconstruction Agency’s budget of 552.3 billion yen ($4 billion), only about 20% will be spent for rebuilding projects. About 90% of the amount for fiscal 2023 will deal with the nuclear accident, like constructing an interim storage facility for waste and helping residents return home.
The remainder will go to providing psychological care to evacuees and subsidizing rent for those still residing in public housing. In Fukushima, a total of 80,000 residents evacuated from 11 towns.
While evacuation orders have been lifted in some towns, only 16,000 residents have returned home. Parts of seven towns still have high radiation levels.