Iitate Village Office
Location of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture
|• Total||230.13 km2 (88.85 sq mi)|
|Population (December 2014)|
|• Density||25.7/km2 (67/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Pinus densiflora|
|- Flower||Lilium auratum|
|- Bird||Japanese bush-warbler|
|Address||580-1 Itazawa, Iitate-mura, Soma-gun, Fukushima-ken 960-1892|
Iitate (飯舘村 Iitate-mura?) is a village located in Sōma District, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of December 2014, the village had an official registered population of 5,909 and a population density of 25.7 persons per km², although the current actual resident popular is much lower. The total area was 230.13 square kilometres (88.85 sq mi).
Iitate is located in the Abukuma Plateau of northeastern Fukushima at a mean altitude of 500 meters. It is about 39 kilometres (24 miles) northwest of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
The area of present-day Iitate was part of Mutsu Province. After the Meiji restoration, on April 1, 1889, the villages of Iiso, Osu and Niitate were created within Soma District, Fukushima. On April 1, 1942, Osu and Niitate merged to form the village of Odate, which then merged with Iiso on September 30, 1956 to form Iitate. In September 2010, Iitate was designated one of The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan
2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
Iitate suffered from moderate damage from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, and was located outside the nominal 30 kilometres (19 miles) radiation exclusion zone of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. However, as a result of wind patterns following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, on 30 March 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency stated that its operational criteria for evacuation were exceeded in Iitate, despite the village being outside the existing radiation exclusion zone around the plant. As a result, the entire population of the village was evacuated by government order on 22 April 2011. Some displaced children from the village were shunned after relocating for fear of contamination. In early June about 1,500 residents remained, By August only about 120 residents, mostly elderly, remained. In 2012, local government obtained responses from a survey from some 1,743 former residents began experiencing growing frustration and instability due to the nuclear crisis and an inability to return to the lives they were living before the disaster. Sixty percent of respondents stated that their health and the health of their families had deteriorated after evacuating.
Summarizing all responses to questions related to evacuees' current family status, one-third of all surveyed families live apart from their children, while 50.1 percent live away from other family members (including elderly parents) with whom they lived before the disaster. The survey also showed that 34.7 percent of the evacuees have suffered reductions in income of 50 percent or more since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster. A total of 36.8 percent reported a lack of sleep, while 17.9 percent reported smoking or drinking more than before they evacuated.
In July 2012, the government re-zoned Iitate into three areas based on radiation levels. All restrictions were to be lifted for a small area of northern Iitate, but the majority of the village was cleared only for the daylight return of residents. The southern portion of the village was to remain totally closed until at least 2016. However, in March 2014, the government postponed lifting of the restrictions on return for a year due to remaining high levels of radiation.
The economy of Iitate was formerly heavily dependent on agriculture.
Iitate had one high school, one middle school and three elementary schools in March 2011.
- Iitate is not served by any train stations.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iitate, Fukushima.|
- Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan (Japanese)
- Sylvia Westall and Fredrik Dahl (30 March 2011). "High radiation outside Japan exclusion zone: IAEA". Reuters. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- Eric Talmadge (8 June 2011). "Japanese village's nuclear reality sets in slowly". Associated Press (Google). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- David McNeill (13 May 2011). "Fukushima village on way to becoming ghost town". Japan Times. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Japan evacuates residents beyond Fukushima no-go zone". BBC. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Yuka Hayashi (16 August 2011). "Murky Science Clouded Japan Nuclear Response". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- "Evacuees of Fukushima village report split families, growing frustration". Mainichi Daily News. January 30, 2012.
- "Iitate evacuation relaxed", World Nuclear News, July 16, 2012.
- "Lifting of Fukushima villages’ evacuation advisory to be delayed ", the Japan Times, March 1, 2014.
- Myoraku, Asao "Fukushima villages face 1-year delay in lifting of evacuation orders", the Asahi Shimbun, February 28, 2014.