Just about a week ago, the Japanese Government announced that pets can now be brought out of the Fukushima no-go zone upon evacuees’ temporal return to their homes.
In Tamura City in Fukushima, evacuees had a third-round of returning home for a couple of hours today. Here is one article related to the event from Mainichi Newspaper, January 29, 2012
Translation of the article:
On January 29th, the third round of evacuees from inside the Fukushima exclusion zone returning home for a few hours began in Tamura City of Fukushima. This time, they were allowed to go inside with technical personnels who could estimate the cost of repairing their houses, visit graves and bring out their dogs and cats. However, no pets were found in this occasion.
This time, 195 people of 90 households in Tamura City returned home for temporal visits.
Mr. and Mrs. Nomita went inside the zone together with a carpentor. “I believe it’s a long way ahead for the house to be repaired after decontamination is done, but we wanted to have an estimate for repairing our house”, said Mr. Nomita. They managed to bring out their dog and a cat when they evacuated (in March 2011, but their neighbors who left their cat at home when they evacuated, could not find the cat this time again. “Pets are our family. I hope their cat will be found soon”.
Pets were not allowed to be brought out of the zone untile the second temporal visits, but due to a lot of demands, it has become possible this time. Only dogs and cats can be brought out and no dead bodies were allowed. There are many cases that Fukushima prefecture kept these pets, and 124 dogs and 121 cats have returned to their owners as of end of 20111.
The officials have also implemented the ‘Drive-thru method’, a method of examining radiation without having the need for the evacuees to get out of the cars when they came out of the zone.
The third round of returning home for a few hours is until the end of March, and it’s planned to take place in other one city and five towns other than Tamura City.