Life may never be the same for those affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March.
The Japanese government enforced a 12-mile evacuation zone around the nuclear plant, making it a virtual no-go zone.
Those nearby were ordered to stay indoors and to prepare for immediate evacuation.
But on Friday the government announced it was lifting some of these restrictions.
[Yukio Edano, Japanese Economic, Trade and Industry Minister]:
“Due to the relaxing of these restrictions, children and those who are pregnant will once again be able to enter the zones. Schools will be able to restart and restrictions against starting construction projects will be lifted.”
Although many were not ordered to evacuate, plenty did, anxious about the threat of nuclear contamination.
[Yoshihiko Noda, Japanese Prime Minister]:
“In order to reduce residents’ uneasiness caused by radiation concerns, it is necessary to conduct large scale decontamination project. I hope to put the funds for this into the third supplemental budget.”
Over the next two years, the government aims to halve radiation in contaminated areas.
Experts say the clean-up could cost tens of billions of dollars.
Things may not be back to normal but reopening schools will bring some semblance of normality to the area.