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Some people who fled their residences in Fukushima prefecture more than 4 years ago are finally going home for good. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident forced thousands from their homes. Towns and villages near the plant were declared no-entry zones. Now for the first time, all the people in one town have been given the green light to return home permanently.
The government hopes to lift all evacuation orders except for the most contaminated areas around the plant by March, 2017, offering up to 100,000 yen ($800) per household for moving back. But evacuees criticize the plan as a public relations stunt to showcase Fukushima's recovery ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games. Sections of two other towns reopened last year, but only half of their populations have since returned
An economic revival plan centers on a giant 85 billion yen ($700 million) facility that is being built on the edge of town to research, develop and test specialized robots and other technology—part of the government's "Innovation Coast" plan to turn the disaster-hit region into a hub for nuclear plant decommissioning technology.