A geiger counter attached to a fence near the Daiichi power plant measures radiation in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture. File photo/ AFP Photo
TOKYO: Japan will for the first time next month lift an evacuation order in one of two towns where the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is located, officials said on Tuesday.
The government plans to lift the order for part of Okuma town on April 10, cabinet office official Yohei Ogino told AFP.
It will be the first time the government has lifted an evacuation order in the towns — Okuma and Futaba — that host the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Okuma mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe described the decision as a “very welcome move,” a town official said.
“We will be able to take the first step forward (towards reconstruction) eight years later,” the official quoted Watanabe as saying.
In March 2011, a massive tsunami caused by an earthquake slammed into Japan, killing more than 18,000 and setting off the worst nuclear accident in a generation.
Japan’s government has lifted evacuation orders across much of the region affected by the meltdown — allowing residents to return — as Tokyo has pressed an aggressive decontamination programme involving removing radioactive topsoil and cleaning affected areas.
But not everyone has been convinced, with a poll conducted in February by the Asahi Shimbun daily and Fukushima local broadcaster KFB finding that 60 percent of Fukushima region residents still felt anxious about radiation.
No-one is officially recorded as having died as a result of radiation from the accident, but last year the government for the first time acknowledged the death from cancer of a man involved in the cleanup.
More than 3,700 people — most of them from Fukushima — have died from illness or suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy, according to government data.
As of the end of February, around 52,000 people remain displaced because of evacuation orders or because they are unwilling to return, according to Japan’s Reconstruction Agency.
Despite the orders, just 3,000 people were in shelters in the Kagoshima region on Thursday morning, an official tally showed.
Due to the heavy rains that have been lashing the region in recent days, authorities have ordered the evacuation of 600,000 people in the southwestern city of Kagoshima, Japan.
Tokyo Electric Power plans to allow overseas workers coming to Japan under a new visa programme to work on the cleanup of its wrecked Fukushima nuclear power station north of Tokyo, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
As many nations face the dilemma of putting students back to school and ensuring the continuity of their education, the UAE’s commitment to opening schools in September, while prioritising the best interests of students, teachers and education providers, serves as a global model for efficient delivery, said a top official of UAE’s major school network.
The Maldives Ambassador to the UAE Hussain Niyaaz has expressed gratefulness for the unceasing support the host government has been extending for the pursuit of the economic growth and stability of the South Asian archipelago, also known since the ancient times as “Garland of Islands” or Maladvipa (Sanskrit).
The UAE-based renowned actor Rik Aby expressed delight on reaching the UAE after being stuck in Jordan for almost four months.
"I hope whoever hears my words will support, even if it is with the word. We need to feel that we can heal each other’s wounds, support each other. I wish all of you success until we meet at the celebration that will mark Lebanon’s freedom. That day will come. "