Japan’s national J-Village soccer center in Fukushima to partially reopen in July

JIJI

The J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture will partially reopen on July 28, more than seven years after the facility was forced to close due to the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that devastated parts of the Tohoku region , its operator said Tuesday.

After the reopening, six soccer grounds — five with natural grass and one with synthetic turf — will be available, as well as a lecture hall with a capacity for some 300 people. The number of rooms dedicated to housing athletes training at the facility will also increase to 200 , about twice the pre-disaster level.

J-Village, located in the towns of Naraha and Hirono, was used by thousands of workers dealing with the reconstruction effort in the area and meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“We’ll make every effort to ensure that J-Village becomes a place that attracts many people with the power of sports once again and serves as a symbol of reconstruction in Fukushima,” said Eiji Ueda, vice president of the facility’s operator, Japan Football Village Co., at a news conference.

The training center is expected to fully reopen in the spring of 2019.