Futaba Town Hall
Location of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture
|• Total||51.40 km2 (19.85 sq mi)|
|Population (December 2014)|
|• Density||119/km2 (310/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Melia azedarach|
|- Bird||Green Pheasant|
|Address||Shinzan Maeoki 28, Futaba-machi, Futaba-gun, Fukushima-ken 979-1495|
Futaba (双葉町 Futaba-machi?) is a Town located in Futaba District, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of December 2014, the town had an official registered population of 6,113 and a population density of 119 persons per km². The total area was 51.40 square kilometres (19.85 sq mi). However, as of March 2011 the entire population was evacuated as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the town is effectively a ghost town.
Futaba is located on the Pacific Ocean coastline of central Fukushima. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is located on the southern border of Futaba in the neighboring town of Ōkuma.
The area of present-day Futaba was part of Mutsu Province. The remains of Kofun period burial mounds have been found in the area. During the Nara period, it was the center of ancient Futaba District within Iwaki Province During the Edo period, it was originally part of Sōma Domain, ruled by the Sōma clan until the Meiji restoration. The area was the site of the Battle of Iwaki during the Boshin War. On April 1, 1889, the villages of Shinzan and Nagatsuka were created within Naraha District, Fukushima, which subsequently became Futaba District in April 1896. Shinzan was raised to town status on February 1, 1913. Shinzan merged with Nagatsuka on April 1, 1951 becoming the town of Shineha, which changed its name to Futaba on April 1, 1956.
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Futaba was severely affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Besides sustaining considerable damage from the earthquake, and the tsunami (which devastated the coastal area), the town was evacuated en masse on the morning of March 12 as it is located well within the 20 kilometer exclusion radius around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant On March 28, 2013, the central government rezoned the town into two areas according to different levels of radiation, with residents permitted to return to one of the zones for daytime visits, but would continue to be prohibited from entering the other zone due to dangerously high levels of radiation for at least another four years. However, the zone opened to daytime return of residents was only 4 percent of the town area, and the town remains uninhabitable.
Futaba formerly had one high school, one middle school and two elementary schools.
- Kazunari Watanabe – Olympic cyclist
- "Futaba official home page" (in Japanese). Japan: Futaba Town. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Nuclear crisis creates ghost town, CNN.com, 11 April 2011.
- Hongo, Jun "Fukushima debris disposal falling short", The Japan Times, May 7, 2013.
- "Last no-go zone designation in Fukushima lifted", The Japan Times, May 29, 2013.
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- Official website (Japanese)
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