ASAHIKAWA, HOKKAIDO – Noritada Nakazato has been publishing a newsletter to deepen bonds among former residents of a district in Fukushima Prefecture who had to evacuate their homes shortly after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear disaster.
The 75-year-old has issued the newsletter almost every month since April 2011 to inform the former residents of where each of them has been after leaving the Kawabusa neighborhood in the city of Minamisoma, located less than 20 km from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
As of December, the newsletter, called Kawabusa Tsushin, had a circulation of about 140, according to Nakazato.
He had long worked as a court official in Tokyo and other areas before moving to Fukushima after retiring, hoping to live the rest of his life in the prefecture where he grew up.
He said the evacuation that was forced by the nuclear disaster destroyed the bonds among about 300 residents in Kawabusa.
Nakazato and his 73-year-old wife sought shelter in Misato, Saitama Prefecture, where he lived until retiring, and later moved to Furano, Hokkaido, after his 48-year-old second son invited them there.
Once he had settled in Misato, Nakazato became worried about whether everyone else had also safely evacuated. He called the Minamisoma city office but the office was still in chaos and gave him little information about the residents, so he resolved to collect and deliver information about the residents on his own.