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Eight months ago, people left the town of Namie in haste. Families raced from their homes without closing the front doors. They left half-finished wine bottles on their kitchen tables and sneakers in their foyers. They jumped in their cars without taking pets and left cows hitched to milking stanchions.

Now the land stands frozen in time, empty and virtually untouched since the March 11 disasters that created a wasteland in the 20-km zone of farmland that extends arouond the wrecked, coastal Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

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