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Seven-Eleven to open store in evacuation zone

JIJI

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. said Tuesday it will open a temporary, daytime-only convenience store Aug. 26 in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Naraha, part of which was once deemed off-limits after the start of the nuclear disaster.

It will be the first convenience store in a former exclusion zone, according to the unit of Seven & I Holdings Co.

Seven-Eleven suspended operations in the exclusion zone after the March 2011 quake-and-tsunami-triggered nuclear plant disaster. But last August, the town was redesignated in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order. Residents who are preparing to return and workers engaged in decontamination efforts around Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have asked for a place to shop, according to Seven-Eleven.

The company’s move is in response to requests from the Reconstruction Agency and the municipal government of Naraha.

The new outlet will open on the site of a former Seven-Eleven convenience store.