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Olympic torch to start from earthquake-hit Fukushima next year

Apr 03, 2020

Japan (ANI) April 03, 2020: The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, is likely to open on July 23, 2021. Already Olympic flame has arrived at Fukushima prefecture. Japanese call it “The Fire of Reconstruction”. On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred and Fukushima prefecture was severely damaged by Tsunami and provoked the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. 9 years have passed and the reconstruction of the affected town is steadily advancing. Tokyo Olympic was postponed but the torch relay will start again from Fukushima to encourage the people of Fukushima and Japan. J-Village was used by many athletes mainly for soccer as sports facility. After the nuclear power plant accident, it was used as a precursor to reconstruction base as parking and protective clothing fitting place for workers. After the grand-opening 2019, Thailand football boys, known by news of rescued from cave visited as holy spot of football. The start ceremony in J-Village was canceled, but the governor of Fukushima Prefecture said that torch relay should start from J Village in next year. Most of people in Japan agree to this because they recognize it is the symbolic issue for Fukushima and Japan. “The Fire of Reconstruction” is never extinguished. 9 years have passed since 2011, after Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident. Recovering work is progressing dynamically. For example, removal of debris on the site and spent nuclear fuel, the construction of embankment, and the storage of waste such as contaminated water. Now, 96 percent of the area is recovered to safe area that worker and staff could enter with simple mask and general work suit. Based on sampling survey, radioactive materials are now below national standard. Such work will be steadily advanced toward the de-commission over next 30 to 40 years. There is a constant effort to ensure the safety of Fukushima prefecture and Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the site in April 2019 and there was great response to photograph of his style not wearing protective clothing. The cafeteria of this facility uses Fukushima prefecture ingredients to serve workers delicious 3,000 meals a day. It is the place of relaxation for working people and it is the place to regain working energy. Fukushima Prefecture expatriates the staff to ensure the safety of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Close relation of TEPCO and Fukushima Prefecture is integral to keep safety. Fukushima Prefecture publishes information of safety such as reports on the activities, decommissioning work, and spatial dose rates. It is integral for safe and relieved life. The work on decommissioning, which TEPCO and Fukushima Prefecture are working together, has given many people mind of safe and security, and is making sure that they are moving forward toward reconstruction for bright future.