Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 15:15 GMT

Japan: Tens of thousands still displaced after five months

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 12 August 2011
Cite as UN News Service, Japan: Tens of thousands still displaced after five months , 12 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e4a1ba92.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has highlighted the situation of people in north-eastern prefectures affected by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster.

Nearly five months on, tens of thousands of homeless survivors are still living in evacuation centres in schools and other public buildings, or in hotels, while they wait for suitable accommodation. As of mid-July, around 91,500 people were still displaced, according to the government. The lack of suitable land in hilly coastal areas is a major challenge to the construction of new homes. Other evacuated people have been unable to return to their homes around the nuclear plant.

The Fukushima prefectural government has stated that all 557 shelters in the prefecture will shut at the end of October, as alternative accommodation for some 15,000 evacuees is close to being secured. However, people do not want to move into transitional housing away from schools and other amenities, or to lose their entitlement to assistance. Others want to remain with the people and communities they know.

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