The Fukushima prefectural government on Monday morning updated the safety status of the town of Namie, lifting its no-go zone designation.
The news follows the release last month of a Google Street View video showing the remains of the devastated town which lies within 20 kilometers of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Namie has now been divided into several zones, which have been redesignated to allow entry for rebuilding and clean-up operations to begin.
The prefectural government said that central Namie, where around 80% of the town's 20,000 inhabitants lived, will be made accessible during the day. However, the western part of the town will remain off-limits, Fuji TV reported.
The prefectural government formerly announced a plan to reopen the town within three years, but analysts have pointed out that a vast amount of decontamination work and rebuilding of the local infrastructure has yet to be completed.© Japan Today