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Last week, while much of the metropolis continued to reel from aftershocks following the March 11 megaquake, and worries about radiation leaks from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactors lurked in most people’s minds, there was a part of Tokyo blissfully removed from all that madness.

That was Mikura Island, one of seven Izu Islands in the Pacific Ocean 200 km south of Tokyo — and 415 km from the Fukushima power plant. Though it falls under the jurisdiction of Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), with cars there all bearing the capital’s Shinagawa Ward number plates, its 316 people lead lives utterly different from others in that central Tokyo ward.

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