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In western Japan, Osaka, Kyoto and Okayama prefectures saw more incoming people than outbound ones for the first time in about 15 years. Except for Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture also saw an increase in the number of new residents in 2011.
Hiroshi Takahashi, secretary general of a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization supporting people moving to rural areas, said that after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear crisis, "inquiries from people considering moving out of Tokyo and its vicinity have surged."
"Popular destinations have shifted from elsewhere in eastern Japan to western regions due to the nuclear crisis," he said.