Cylindrical facility to be built in park planned in Fukushima in memory of disaster

10 July 2020

A national park to be built in an area straddling the towns of Futaba and Namie in Fukushima Prefecture in memory of victims of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster will have a cylindrical indoor facility for the permanent display of local people's reconstruction efforts, the central and prefectural governments said on July 9 in a project overview. The facility, having a vaulted ceiling, will stand in an elevated part of the park, to be dubbed a "hill for the memory and repose of souls." It is intended to be a base for future generations to learn about the quake and nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant and remember those who lost their lives.

The park will be about 50 hectares wide, with its 10-hectare central portion to be devoted to the hill set to be constructed by the central government as a place of remembrance. The memorial hill will be 16.5 meters high, equivalent to the maximum height of the tsunami that hit Futaba at the time of the quake. Another part of the area to be developed by the prefectural government will preserve the site of a residential community in the town's Nakano district, where foundation stones of tsunami-swept houses remain. In Namie town, on the north side, it will cover the ruins of a hamlet in the Morotake district as well as marshland.

The Fukushima government will also build a road stretching from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum, constructed in Futaba as an archive facility, to the hill via the remains of the town's residential community. A bridge is to be built over the Maeda River flowing through Futaba, linking facilities in the neighborhood in an integrated manner.

Part of the park is scheduled to open soon, possibly this fall, in time for the inauguration of the museum.

(Translated by Kyodo News)