• Kyodo


Townspeople in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, used to take pride in a 2.5-km stretch of 300 cherry trees that reached full bloom and created a canopy of blossoms every April in Yonomori Park.

Before the massive quake last year, the town had around 15,000 residents. But now Naoto Matsumura, 52, is the only one left. He decided to stay where he grew up even after the entire town ended up in the exclusion zone set up April 22 because of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

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