Part of Tamura city has been reopened by the government but few plan to return. Mostly the older residents have decided to take the government offer to return to their former homes. Mainichi reports each evacuee that returns gets a 900,000 yen cash payout for doing so. Those who stay away for now can continue to receive evacuee compensation.
The government threshold for allowing an area to reopen is to estimate an annual exposure of 20 millisieverts or less. The ICRP limit for public exposure is 1 millisievert per year. Tamura is well above the ICRP level using any of the monitoring being done.. Tamura is also one of the towns found to have had the government exposure data manipulated by the Japanese government. Specifically, the cabinet office of PM Abe. Mainichi further documented that this was an intentional act to allow for the reopening of these towns.
While most of the reporting in Japan has focused on the controversy around the safety or lack of safety in reopening Tamura, US media has tried to repaint it as being safe. Reuters compared living in Tamura against air plane flights, living in Denver and a random radiation level in Tokyo in an effort to downplay the risk. They also trotted out an out of context WHO claim that up to 100 millsieverts is “safe” something ICRP disputes in their guidelines for public safety.
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