The Japanese government has recently lifted the exclusion zone designation for Tomioka in the Fukushima Prefecture. According to the estimated annual radiation doses, the town has been aligned into three nuclear evacuation zones.
The revision took effect on March 24, 2013, but despite this, the municipal government will keep the whole town evacuation in place. The evacuation will take place for at least four years as there is a need to rebuild the infrastructure which was damaged in the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The disaster had led to meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric power company’s Fukushima plant number one, which is located to the north of the town. The town of Tomioka has become the first area to come out of the no-go zone, which was set by the central government. There are 11 municipalities around the plant and Tomioka is the eighth to undergo the rezoning.
For now, the prefectural police do not restrict any entry into the town, but the checkpoints will be taken over by the central government on the national roads. Before the nuclear disaster had started, about 4,500 people were living in the zone, which covers the northeastern part of the town. The central government is expecting to lift the evacuation advisory for the most heavily contaminated zone in Tomioka in 2017.