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Commercial facility opens in Fukushima n-plant host town

  • April 5, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 7:31 p.m.
  • English Press

Okuma, Fukushima Pref., April 5 (Jiji Press)–A commercial facility opened on Monday in Okuma, a town hosting the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant where the evacuation order has been partially lifted for the return of residents.

 

It is the first opening of a publicly-built, privately-operated complex facility in the Fukushima Prefecture town since the evacuation order, issued due to the March 2011 triple meltdown at the nuclear plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501>, was lifted in the town for the first time in April 2019.

 

The power plant straddles Okuma and the town of Futaba, both in the northeastern Japan prefecture.

 

The facility hosts nine businesses including four eateries, a convenience store, a sundries shop and a hair salon, easing the lack of shops that has been an obstacle to the return.

 

“It’s helpful as I had to go to a neighboring town for a little shopping and a haircut,” said Shigeo Yamamoto, a 71-year-old man living nearby in permanent housing for disaster-affected people.

 

The facility has seven businesses that operated from before the disaster and have returned to Okuma. Among them is a cafe, which many old-time regular customers visited Monday as soon as it opened.

 

Cafe manager Kazushi Takeuchi, 67, said he has returned as he hopes to create a place where people who evacuated to various locations can gather and communicate.

 

Okuma’s population stands at about 300, less than 10 pct of the figure before the disaster. There had been only makeshift stores before the new facility opened.

 

The Okuma government plans to open this autumn a complex with accommodation and spa facilities with a hall.

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