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» Reconstruction assistants help the revitalize local community

On Oct. 18, reconstruction assistant Makie Tomikawa, 55, finished visiting 103 households spread across Japan, from the Kinki region to Hokuriku on the Sea of Japan. All these families were once part of the same community — the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture — before they were forced to flee by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Tomikawa’s goal: to help reconnect the dispersed residents.

The entire town of Namie — some 20,000 people — was evacuated following the March 2011 disaster, with some 6,000 leaving Fukushima Prefecture altogether.

Several of the areas hit by the disaster went on to hire reconstruction assistants to provide support to residents and help revitalize local communities. The town of Namie hired 30 such assistants, who have been entrusted with making personal visits to displaced Namie residents around the country.

At the time of the reactor meltdowns, Tomikawa was a temporary worker at a local community center. She evacuated to the city of Kyoto, where her son and daughter live. She was hired for the reconstruction assistance post in June 2013, after telling officials that she “wanted to do something to help benefit the townspeople who had become scattered (around the country).”
<Media Report>
Fukushima town evacuee helps in work to connect fellow displaced citizens )Mainichi Newspaper)


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