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Japan city on border of nuclear no-go zone fights for survival via Reuters

By Antoni Slodkowski

MINAMI SOMA, Japan | Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35pm EDT

(Reuters) – A line dividing the no-go zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant and the area deemed safe from radiation cuts right across this coastal city but the “good” part is starting to look very much like the ghost town on the other side.

Six months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami that triggered meltdowns and radiation leaks at the Tokyo Electric Power’s complex, Minami Soma, a city just a half an hour’s drive away, struggles to stay alive.

In the part that was meant to carry on as normal, shuttered shops and eateries alongside a stretch of road that leads to a checkpoint at the entrance to the restricted 20-km (12 mile) area shows that it is not enough just to declare it safe.

“People want the government to show crystal clear directions and to come up with a road map, stating finally which areas are inhabitable, which are not and why,” says Tomoyoshi Oikawa, 51, assistant director of Mimami-soma municipal hospital

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