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CASE 35Fukushima Kizuna & Exchange Tour

Activity Report

The "Fukushima Bond and Exchange Tour" was held on November 7 and 8, 2021, to gather information on returnees and life reconstruction.

This annual tour was held to provide an opportunity for people who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture because of the Great East Japan Earthquake to connect with those who returned to the prefecture. This year, the tour was held while taking measures against COVID-19.

The tour was attended by 18 evacuees who fled from the prefecture and now live in the metropolitan area and 3 evacuees who returned to Fukushima, making a total of 21 participants.

The first day held at the Hirono Town Tropical Fruit Museum in Fukushima Prefecture, designed for tours of reconstruction-related facilities and for an exchange meeting.

The museum is working to grow bananas domestically as the town's new special product in order to revitalize agriculture and tourism after suffering from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident.

Next is the visit to the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in Namie Town, which has an area of 180,000 square meters and a 20-MW solar power plant on-site.

The participants said, "Hydrogen energy is heading in the right direction," "I'm glad I could see something that will improve the future," and so on.

After that is the Ohirayama Cemetery, A visit to the Great East Japan Earthquake memorial in Namie Town, built in 2017 for the souls of the victims and the town's reconstruction, and as a warning to be remembered from the earthquake.

The participants gave their impressions, such as, "It's becoming more and more difficult to return to Fukushima every year, so I was grateful for this," "Now I want to know more about life in Fukushima," and "I was able to enjoy spending time with people I haven't seen in a long time." It was an opportunity for participants to be united in their feelings toward their hometown.

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