fukushima daiichi nuclear power station

17.03.06 News Zero - 6 Years Since 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami - Sakurai Sho [English highlights]

Tonight Sakurai Caster was having live broadcast at Tomioka-machi, Fukushima.

It has been six years since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The evacuation order for part of Tomioka-machi is scheduled to be lifted on 1 April, the town office, moved to Koriyama-shi after disaster, resumed part of its duties at Tomioka-machi today. Sakurai Caster went to the town office and interviewed the staff. Commercial facilities and residential construction is on-going to facilitate the residents moving back to the place. Many workers of the commercial facilities lived in Tomioka-machi before the disaster. One staff said that she would like to contribute to the revival of the place.

Tomioka-machi is around 10km distance from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, after the disaster the evacuation order was applied to the whole area of Tomioka-machi. On 1 April the evacuation order will be lifted for part of the machi and residents can move back.

Sakurai Caster helped out the moving of the Tomioka town office. One town office staff Horimoto-san said that town office moves back to Tomioka-machi may make residents more relieved to come back. When Sakurai Caster prompted the possible difficulties of moving back, Horimoto-san said that there may be issues about travel to work or family issues, such as he himself takes around one-hour travel to Tomioka-machi to work from his current shelter.

Sakurai Caster also visited the difficult-to-return zone. The crew gained special permission to take a short-time coverage there. There is basically no person there, while there is countless soil taken from decontamination. The storage space for these soil from decontamination is up to 80ha, approximately 17 Tokyo Domes, while it is not yet known when they will be further processed.

Sakurai Caster interviewed a lady used to lived in the difficult-to-return zone before disaster and now moved to shelter in Iwaki-shi who expressed unwillingness to return with her kids because of worry towards the Nuclear Power Station. According to a survey to Tomioka-machi residents, 57.6% decided not to return, 16.0% considered to return, 25.4% has not yet made decision (with 1.1% non-answer).

Sakurai Caster interviewed physician Imamura-san who returned to the machi last year. He has three days of medical practice at Tomioka-machi every week and gains permission to stay in his home at Tomioka-machi during practice days. Sakurai Caster helped the decontamination work for Imamura-san’s home last year. The evacuation order for Imamura-san’s home is scheduled to be lifted in the coming month. Imamura-san encounters problem in daily life in the sense that when he buys electric appliances, the company does not deliver it to him. And he is unable to have air-conditioner because the worker for installation work cannot yet enter the zone to do the installation work.

At the end Sakurai Caster said that he felt the weight of six-year time. While commercial facilities and other facilities re-open for the lifting of evacuation order, many Tomioka-machi residents are reserved to return because of worries towards the Nuclear Power Station etc. It seems that it would take time for the machi to return to prosperity.


Hayao Miyazaki Paints New Logo For Kumejima Town Buses 

The new logo which will appear on the Okinawa island town’s busses features a Sea Turtle with the Earth on its back. 

Last year we learned that Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki had donated 300 million yen (around US$2.4 million) to the town of Kumejima, Okinawa for the construction of an “Interaction Center for Children” in the town’s Zenda Forest Park. 

The facility is intended for families and children, who were displaced from Fukushima, to be outdoors; due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station leak after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, there are areas in Fukushima that are no longer safe for children to play.