The town and the national government are aiming to lift the evacuation order next spring for a part of the difficult-to-return area in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, where access has been severely restricted after the nuclear accident.

To this end, on December 3rd, 30 days before the start of "preparatory accommodation," in which residents stayed at home and prepared for rebuilding their lives, access restrictions were significantly relaxed.

In Okuma Town, where the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is located, evacuation orders are still issued for more than 60% of the town's area, and it is designated as a difficult-to-return area.

The town and the national government are aiming to lift the evacuation order next spring by decontaminating and improving the infrastructure in the "specified reconstruction and regeneration base area", which is about 18% of the total.

Nearly three-quarters of the access restrictions have been relaxed in this area so far, but at 9:00 am on the 30th, more than 220 barricades were opened, and the area around Ono Station on the JR Joban Line and the center of the former town. Regulations on the remaining quarter, such as regions, have been relaxed.

Although evacuation orders continue, now all of the "Specified Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Base Areas" can be freely accessed.

"Preparatory accommodation" for return is scheduled to begin on December 3, and according to the country, 23 people from 12 households have completed the accommodation notification by the 29th.

Jun Yoshida, the mayor of Okuma Town, said, "It took a while, but I've finally come to this point. Since the preparatory accommodation is an effort aimed at canceling the evacuation order, I think that the residents are worried, but I solved it one by one. I want to proceed. "

Crime prevention instructors and others look around the area

In response to the drastic relaxation of access restrictions, residents' crime prevention guidance teams have begun to patrol the area in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture.

On the 30th, a departure ceremony was held at the parking lot of JR Ono Station, where about 40 people including members of the local fire brigade and the crime prevention guidance team made by the residents gathered, and Mayor Jun Yoshida said, "Anyone can enter for 24 hours. Therefore, there is a concern that accidents and crimes will increase. We would like to ask for your cooperation for the safety and security of the residents and the reconstruction of the town. "

After that, Mr. Hideatsu Matsunaga, a crime prevention instructor who continues patrol activities while living in another district in the town where the evacuation order has already been lifted, declared the start of activities and immediately started patrol when the barricade was opened. ..

Mr. Matsunaga said, "I have been waiting for this day. I hope that many townspeople will come back if the area where they can pass freely expands."

Residents of deregulated areas

Hidemasa Watanabe (57), who lived in the shopping district in front of JR Ono Station where entry restrictions were relaxed, visited the place where his home was at the same time as the barricade was opened at 9 am.

Okuma Town bought private land and buildings in the shopping district to develop new residential areas and commercial areas, and is proceeding with the dismantling of the buildings, and Mr. Watanabe's home was also dismantled this spring. It means that.

Mr. Watanabe wants to build a new house in another place in the town if the evacuation order is lifted next spring, and he has taken a picture of the former site of his home and the current state of the shopping district. I did.

Mr. Watanabe said, "The place where my house was located is no longer my own land, but I'm happy that I can come freely. I feel like I've finally made it to the starting line."