IITATE, Fukushima -- Before the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in March last year, the residents of this village rich in natural resources used to live in harmony.
Now, the Iitate Municipal Government is forging ahead with a decontamination plan, hoping to bring evacuated residents back, but some locals are beginning to push their hopes of returning away and are initiating group relocations to different areas.
As a result, the former harmony of this small mountainous village is starting to be challenged.
Under the municipal government's decontamination plan, all village residents who wish to return to their original homes will be able to do so within about five years. All households in the village are set to be decontaminated within two years, all agricultural fields within five years, and forests within 20 years. The project will cost the village approximately 320 billion yen.
However, while many residents sincerely hope to return eventually, some are beginning to wonder whether returning to the same place is indeed their only option. Read More