- Title: JAPAN: Residents keen to return to normalcy, though still worried over radiation
- Date: 22nd March 2011
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 21, 2011) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF TOKYO TRAIN STATION BULLET TRAIN ARRIVING AT TOKYO STATION BULLET TRAIN DEPARTURE SCHEDULE ON ELECTRONIC BOARD VARIOUS OF PEOPLE COMING OUT OF STATION (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO RESIDENT HIROSHI TANAKA SAYING: "Life in Tokyo is getting back to normal and the risk of more quakes is fading now. But I don't feel safe about nuclear radiation at all." MORE OF PEOPLE COMING OUT OF STATION PEOPLE BUYING TRAIN TICKETS MORE OF PEOPLE COMING OUT OF STATION (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) A FATHER AND TOKYO RESIDENT, YOSHIO JINBO, SAYING: "I came back because the nuclear issue is moving towards a positive direction and I have to get back to work tomorrow since the holiday is over." DAUGHTER OF YOSHIO AND HARUMI JINBO (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) A MOTHER AND TOKYO RESIDENT, HARUMI JINBO, SAYING: "I am worried about the future. But my job is to do my best to gather information and protect (my family)." HARUMI JINBO AND FAMILY LEAVING TOKYO STATION STREET OF GINZA TRAFFIC SIGN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON STREET
- Embargoed: 6th April 2011 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Energy
- Reuters ID: LVAB3AIKWSABC4K7Y9285IUCFGFK
- Story Text: Tokyo residents who fled their homes fearing strong aftershocks and high radiation levels, returned to the capital on Monday (March 21), eager to get their lives back on track.
Tourists and expatriates left in droves and most local residents were staying indoors last week when nuclear concerns mounted.
Streets were empty and some stores were shut in one of the world's biggest and densely populated cities. Schools were closed, and companies allowed employees to work from home.
Fukushima prefecture, where the radiation-emitting nuclear reactors are located, is 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Tokyo.
This week life in the metropolis is slowly returning to normal.
Residents are expecting Tokyo will regain its pace starting Tuesday (March 22) when offices re-open after a three-day long weekend. Monday is a national holiday in Japan.
But people who had returned after fleeing for safety said they were still worried about radiation.
The damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were showing some improvement, but the situation remains uncertain, the government said. Power has yet to be restored after cables to six reactors were established.
Tiny levels of radioactive iodine were detected in tap water in Tokyo, authorities said, and radiation has also been found in dust in the greater city area.
Hiroshi Tanaka just came off a train from Osaka, 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of Tokyo.
"Life in Tokyo is getting back to normal and the risk of more quakes is fading now. But I don't feel safe about nuclear radiation at all," Tanaka said.
Another Tokyo resident, Yoshio Jinbo, fled with his wife and daughter to Nagoya, 260 kilometres (160 miles) south of Tokyo.
"I came back because the nuclear issue is moving towards a positive direction and I have to get back to work tomorrow since the holiday is over," Yoshio Jinbo said.
"I am worried about the future. But my job is to do my best to gather information and protect (my family)," said his wife Harumi.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday that the detection of radiation in some food in Japan was a more serious problem than it had expected.
Higher than usual levels of iodine had been found in samples of spinach and milk in Ibaraki and Fukushima prefectures, the areas closest to the nuclear plant.
The government has prohibited the sale of raw milk and spinach from the two areas. It said more restrictions on food may be announced later on Monday.
Consuming food with radioactive materials could increase the risks of certain cancers in the future, according to WHO.
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