• Kyodo

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Around 50 percent of respondents to a poll of households evacuated from radioactive fallout-hit Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, said they are willing to wait until being allowed to return home, the town reported Thursday.

But around 30 percent said they would never return to the town, it said.

In the poll, questionnaires were mailed in July and August to all 7,150 households evacuated when the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had three reactor meltdowns in March 2011. Responses were received from 3,150 households, or 44 percent of the total.

A town official said, “The poll result indicates the impact of our efforts to make positive plans, but there are still many people worried about their future.”

Tomioka, which lies within the evacuation zone around the nuclear plant, will implement the central government’s reclassification of the town, possibly within this year, into three zones, including one where preparations will be made for lifting the evacuation order.

But the town has indicated that residents will return home only after March 2017 in order to avoid any disparities in compensation that they will receive.

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