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Lifting of evacuation order formalized for Fukushima plant host town via Kyodo News

TOKYO — The government formally decided to partially lift from next Wednesday a mandatory evacuation order for residents of a town that hosts the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, citing the lower radiation levels achieved through decontamination work.

The town of Okuma, which had all of its roughly 10,000 residents evacuate after one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters triggered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami, will allow former residents to return for the first time in eight years, the government decided Friday.

Despite the decision, a very small number of residents are expected to return to Okuma. As of late March, only 367 people from 138 households, or around 3.5 percent of the original population of 10,341, were registered as residents of areas where the order will be lifted.

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There will be no restrictions in place over approximately 38 percent of the town’s total area, but the remainder will remain off-limits due to higher radiation levels.

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