Supermarket chain Aeon opened a new store in Namie town, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday, for the first time since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in 2011 caused the evacuation of the town.
Namie, along with neighboring Futaba and Tomioka towns, were subject to government evacuation orders in the wake of the crisis. The evacuation order for Namie was partially lifted in 2017, but 49.9 percent of former residents said they would not return, citing concerns over the lack of medical and commercial facilities, as well as the fact that they had established lives elsewhere.
Namie now has about 1,000 residents, about 5% of its original population. Public broadcaster NHK reported that the opening of the Aeon outlet drew many shoppers who purchased seafood, liquor and dairy items.© Japan Today/Kyodo