Evacuation order may be lifted in part of Fukushima 'difficult-to-return' zone

Officials in Japan plan to lift an evacuation order for part of the area designated as a "difficult-to-return" zone in Fukushima Prefecture due to high radiation levels from the 2011 nuclear accident.

An evacuation order remains in place for the Noyuki district, which covers about 20 percent of Katsurao Village.

Authorities aim to lift the order in about six percent of the district, which has received preferential treatment for decontamination work and infrastructure projects.

Sources say a briefing for residents about the result of the rebuilding work is scheduled for Sunday, after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sources say officials from the central and prefectural governments and the village are making arrangements to lift the order on June 5 at the earliest.

It would be the first case in which people will be able to return to their homes in a "difficult-to-return" zone. Katsurao Village officials say eight people from four households are hoping to return to the area.