National

Mayor of Namie, near shuttered Fukushima nuclear plant, dies at 69

JIJI

Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture, died at hospital in the city of Fukushima on Wednesday. He was 69.

First elected mayor of Namie in 2007, Baba was in his third term. He submitted his resignation earlier this month due to illness and was set to leave office on Saturday.

Baba spearheaded the town’s efforts to cope with the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which badly affected the Tohoku region, and the subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Namie is located next to the towns of Okuma and Futaba, home to the disaster-crippled nuclear plant.

At the end of March last year, Baba decided on lifting evacuation advisories for Namie residents, except for areas that were recognized as heavily contaminated.