Police station 'returns' to Tomioka town after 6-year hiatus

31 March 2017

Futaba Police Station resumed operations on March 30 at its original office in Tomioka town, Fukushima Prefecture, six years after it relocated to the neighboring town of Naraha following the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The move came ahead of the termination of evacuation in parts of Namie town on March 31 and parts of Tomioka on April 1 to ensure the safety of returning residents in the region.

At a ceremony marking the transfer of police station functions back to Tomioka, Hiroyuki Matsumoto, head of the Fukushima Prefectural Police Headquarters, urged local police to "protect the safety of people living here and contribute to regional reconstruction." Congratulatory speeches were also delivered by other officials, including Hiroshi Kohata, head of the Reconstruction Agency's Fukushima Bureau of Reconstruction and Revitalization; Katsuyuki Shibusa, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Public Safety Commission; Fukushima Prefectural Assembly member Eiko Yoshida; and Tomioka Mayor Koichi Miyamoto. They were followed by Noriyuki Kanno, head of the police station, who expressed determination to fulfill the mission of safeguarding the region. After the ceremony attended by some 140 people, including local police officers, police motorcycles and cars departed on their respective missions at the same time.

The partial termination of an evacuation order involves two of three zones -- a residency-restricted zone and a zone being prepared for the end of evacuation. The third zone deemed "difficult-to-return to" due to high radiation levels will remain intact.

(Translated by Kyodo News)