Here is The Yomiuri Shimbun’s conservative outlook on the government’s reconstruction plans for Fukushima Prefecture.
” New government guidelines on reconstruction plans were given the second-highest rating on a four-point scale by heads of the 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, which has been badly affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, in a recent questionnaire survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The new guidelines, which were approved by the government in June, set target dates for lifting evacuation orders and call for extending the period for compensation payments by the utility.
The survey results are expected to accelerate moves toward the rebuilding of local infrastructure in preparation for evacuees’ return to these municipalities, observers said.
The survey, taken late last month, asked the heads of 11 municipalities, including the city of Tamura for which the evacuation order has already been lifted, to return their responses to the written questionnaire.
There are three main pillars of the guidelines: Evacuation orders will be lifted by March 2017 for two areas of 10 municipalities for which evacuation orders were issued, excluding the area to which return is deemed difficult; TEPCO’s monthly compensation payment of ¥100,000 per head to residents of the two areas, including those in the city of Tamura, will end in March 2018; and the payment of compensation for business damage will be extended by one year beyond the current provision, which is set to continue until February 2016.
The areas for which evacuation orders have been issued are classified into three categories according to radiation levels: those where return is deemed difficult, those where dwelling is restricted and those where there are plans to lift the evacuation order.
The new guidelines have set targets for lifting evacuation orders for the second and third categories, which affect about 55,000 people and about 70 percent of those in the three areas overall.
The questionnaire called for evaluation of the new guidelines on a four-point scale. With regard to the overall evaluation of the guidelines, the heads of 11 municipalities approved of them “to a certain degree,” the second-highest on the four-point scale. The head of the town of Kawamata answered that the guidelines would “lead to reconstruction of livelihoods.”
Concerning a plan to set a date for terminating compensation payments regardless of when evacuation orders are removed, the heads of five municipalities responded affirmatively.
Three municipality heads approved setting target dates for removing evacuation orders while five heads responded that they “don’t approve, but have no alternative but to accept it.” Three heads of the municipalities that include many areas to which return is judged difficult responded negatively. ”