Home Beckons For Some
Created: 2012-04-23 11:01 EST
One year ago, the Tsunakawa family packed up their belongings and pets and left just before their home was declared to be inside the 20 kilometre (12 mile) nuclear no-go zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Radiation from the plant went into the atmosphere when it was wrecked by last year's massive quake and tsunami.
Now, finally, Japan's government has begun to ease the restrictions in some areas.
Sadamu Tsunakawa and his wife returned on Sunday to clean up their house and rescue it from 12 months of weed growth.
The property still lacks basics like power and water but Tsunakawa says the family now has hope for the future.
[Sadamu Tsunakawa, 63-Year-Old]:
"Now it's just when we can come back. The radiation issue is Tokyo Electric's problem but if that's all you say then nothing gets done. All you can do is be optimistic and look for ways to go forward. But I don't think that young people will come back."
Instead of a blanket ban on entry the city of Minami Soma has been reclassified into three zones depending on their radiation.
Residents are allowed to return and business can resume, but no one can stay overnight yet.
The zone with the lowest level of radiation has over 12,000 people who will be allowed back permanently once infrastructure is restored.
The city has estimated that there are still approximately 340,000 tons of debris to be dealt with in areas where the restrictions were eased.