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During a visit to Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to continue efforts to allow evacuees from the 2011 nuclear disaster to return to their homes in the prefecture.

The prime minister paid the visit ahead of the 10th anniversary on Thursday of the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered the country’s worst-ever nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Through the Fukushima visit, the second by Suga since he took office last September, the prime minister apparently intended to highlight the government’s continued priority on support for disaster-hit areas.

During the visit, Suga met Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida at a commercial facility that will open soon in the town, which hosts the disaster-crippled nuclear plant.

“We are staying on course toward lifting the evacuation order,” Suga told Yoshida. “We’re working to create an environment that allows those who have fled to other areas to return.”

Suga later visited a district of Futaba near Futaba Station. The town was removed from the list of areas subject to the evacuation order in March 2020.

The visit also covered the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in the town of Namie, which is designed to use solar power to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday. | POOL / VIA KYODO
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday. | POOL / VIA KYODO
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga offers flowers at the Great East Japan Earthquake cenotaph in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday. | POOL / VIA KYODO
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga offers flowers at the Great East Japan Earthquake cenotaph in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday. | POOL / VIA KYODO

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