Mayors of three evacuated towns seek temporary sites

Kyodo

Mayors of three of the 11 municipalities evacuated totally or partially due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis plan to create temporary towns within Fukushima Prefecture.

Some mayors are pursuing municipal mergers as the central government plans to reclassify regions subject to evacuation due to radioactive contamination.

The three planning temporary towns are the mayors of Namie, Futaba and Okuma, which the government is expected to designate as areas where residents will be barred from returning for the long term due to serious contamination.

Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba said he plans to build temporary communities of Namie evacuees in three locations, including Iwaki south of Namie, and Ninonmatsu, where the Namie municipal office has moved.

Futaba Mayor Katsutaka Idogawa said his town may not be rebuilt if all residents are not allowed to return. “We will seek to move Futaba evacuees to a temporary town,” he said.

Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe indicated a plan to set up a temporary community in Iwaki. “Many hope to live in Iwaki, which has a mild climate,” Watanae said.

Takashi Kusano, mayor of Naraha, part of which is in the no-go zone, wants his town to merge with adjacent municipalities.