Business Standard

52,000 remain displaced in Japan after 2011 disaster

Topics
Disaster Accident

IANS  |  Tokyo 

At least 52,000 people still remain displaced in Japan even eight years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster and killed thousands.

The country on Monday remembered the 18,896 victims and the over 2,500 who were reported missing in the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the Pacific coast of Tohoku and the subsequent tsunami on this day in 2011, Efe news reported.

After eight years, 94.5 per cent of the reconstruction work has been completed in the affected coastal regions, according to latest official data.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an address at a ceremony held at the National Theater in Tokyo, said that Japan was firmly moving towards recovery, and specifically underlined the construction of houses and infrastructure and the progress made at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Around 52,000 people are still unable to return to their homes, most of them from Fukushima prefecture that was heavily contaminated by radioactive residues from three of the four reactors of the plant.

After completing the cleaning tasks and radioactive decontamination, authorities have progressively lifted restrictions on access in four of the seven localities that were worst affected by the accident.

On the other hand, Futaba, Okuma and Namie - the localities nearest to the plant - continue to be termed as areas of difficult return and it remains to be seen when the residents of these places will be allowed to return.

According to Greenpeace Japan, the radioactivity levels in several parts of Namie and Litate localities - where evacuation orders were recently lifted - are more than 100 times than the maximum recommended at the international level, which would pose a significant risk for the people living there.

Data collected by non-profit Japan Platform also shows that levels of radioactive elements detected in food products from Fukushima or in soil samples from the area were significantly higher than in other parts of the country, even though they are within the limits considered safe for consumption.

Along with cleaning the nuclear residues and enabling those displaced to return to their homes, the Japanese government aims to dismantle the Fukushima plant, a process that is expected to take at least 30 years and the cost for which could reach 20 trillion yen ($180 billion).

--IANS

ksk/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 15:52 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU