• Kyodo

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Eleven percent of the households displaced in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami have failed to specify in recent surveys which types of housing they wish to move to from their current temporary housing.

The surveys, conducted by 13 municipalities this year in the two prefectures, indicate that 3½ years after the disaster, many evacuees remain uncertain about their future housing, some of them apparently because of financial difficulties.

The surveys found that of roughly 30,400 households in temporary homes and other forms of housing, 3,385, or 11 percent, said they had yet to decide or did not provide an answer.

Households were asked about their preferred types of housing and whether they planned to purchase new homes. Evacuees currently staying in relatives’ homes were also covered in the surveys.

Among the respondents who were undecided, one complained about a lack of progress in public works projects for mass resettlement to higher ground. Another cited the difficulty of taking out a housing loan because of old age.

In Fukushima Prefecture, which was also heavily affected by the disasters, a major problem is the mass evacuation of residents caused by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Municipalities in the prefecture have asked residents about their repatriation plans on a regular basis.

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