via Asahi Shimbun / February 1, 2015 / A 24-hour convenience store has reopened in this small town, even though the former residents are still not allowed to stay overnight due to concerns over radioactive contamination.
FamilyMart’s Kamishigeoka outlet servicing the community of Naraha resumed operation on Jan. 30. The store was forced to close on March 12, 2011, as the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant unfolded.
“We want to do our best to help the residents of Naraha return home,” said Tomoe Murao, the 57-year-old manager of the store.
Residents of Naraha, with a population of 7,500, are expected to start returning this spring.
Supermarkets and convenience stores are also operating in Naraha and Namie, a town to the north where residents are also restricted on the time they spend there, according to prefectural authorities.
The Kamishigeoka outlet is the first to return to around-the-clock operations after store employees gained permission to move back into the town.
The store, which is located on National Route No. 6, expects to stay busy at night with trade brought in by workers involved in decommissioning the crippled nuclear power plant some 14 kilometers away.