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Fukushima port damaged in 2011 disaster fully restored

  • November 20, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 6:14 p.m.
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Namie, Fukushima Pref., Nov. 20 (Jiji Press)–A ceremony was held Saturday to mark the completion of work to reconstruct a fishing port in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.

 

The Ukedo port is the closest Fukushima fishing port to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, which was knocked out by the powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. All 10 Fukushima fishing ports that were damaged in the tsunami have now been restored. The Ukedo port was fully reconstructed in March this year.

 

The ceremony had some 40 attendees, including Namie Mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida, local fishing industry people, and elementary and junior high school students.

 

Flatfish and Japanese sea bass painted on the restored port’s seawalls by elementary and junior high school students, and university students from the Ukedo district were unveiled at the ceremony. Also showcased was a monument of salmon created using the Oborisoma traditional local pottery technique.

 

The restoration of the Ukedo port is an “encouragement,” Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fisheries cooperative, said after the ceremony. “I think that we’ll be able to catch more fish,” he added.

 

The tsunami 10 years ago damaged the port’s seawalls and facilities of the market at the port.

 

Repair work for the Ukedo port took the longest to complete out of the 10 ports because an evacuation order was issued for all areas of Namie following the nuclear accident. The order was partially lifted in March 2017.

 

Fish auctions at the Ukedo port restarted in April 2020. Fish unloaded at the port is now shipped to local supermarkets and other facilities.

 

Trial fishing operations were conducted in waters off the prefecture until the end of March this year, and efforts are underway to bring the amount of fish unloaded at the port back to the levels before the nuclear accident.

 

With TEPCO planning to start releasing treated radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant into the sea off Fukushima around spring 2023, however, many locals are concerned about possible reputational damage related to the water discharge. The treated water still contains tritium, a radioactive substance.

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