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Photo Journal: Long-awaited announcement


A woman sheds tears at the ceremony to mark the government lifting the evacuation order for the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 31. The evacuation orders for the towns of Kawamata and Namie were also lifted, reducing the Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuation zones to the highly-contaminated difficult-to-return zones. However, of the roughly 22,500 residents of the three municipalities, only around 10 percent are expected to return to their homes. Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno nevertheless remained positive at the ceremony, stating, "The lifting of the order is not our goal, but it's the beginning of reconstruction. I hope to strengthen our spirit of independence and will to restore our village." (Mainichi)

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