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Fukushima nuclear disaster: Abandoned town allows first residents home via BBC News

A Japanese town whose population fled the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster has partially reopened eight years later.

Radiation levels in parts of Okuma, west of the Daiichi plant, have been deemed safe for residents to return.

About 50 people have begun moving back to areas in the town where decontamination efforts were focused.

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Critics have accused the Japanese government of expediting residents’ return in an attempt to showcase safety standards ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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BBC Tokyo Correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says the vast majority of the town’s original inhabitants are unlikely to go back. 

Only 367 people – around 3.5% of the town’s original population – had registered as residents as of late March, local reports said.

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However radiation remains a major concern for residents, especially those with children.

A survey by Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun found just over half of residents in Fukushima Prefecture felt that progress has been made toward recovery.

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In 2017, three former Tepco executives went on trial charged with professional negligence linked to the hospital evacuation.

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