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On March 11, 2011, Futaba, a sleepy Fukushima town and bedroom community for employees of the nearby No. 1 nuclear power plant, suddenly became a place known around the world — for all the wrong reasons.

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the ensuing meltdowns, explosions and massive radiation leakage at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s No. 1 plant, approximately 57,000 Fukushima residents fled their homes in the prefecture, many abandoning communities they had been a part of for generations.

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