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The Japanese government lifted the last no-go zone designation in Fukushima Prefecture on Tuesday, more than 26 months after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The town of Futaba, the last no-go zone, has been reorganized into zones where residents' return is viewed as difficult and those where preparations can be made for the lifting of evacuation orders.
No-gone zones located within 20 kilometers of the devastated nuclear plant were designated in nine municipalities in April 2011 and were gradually eliminated.
But zones where residents' return is viewed as difficult are still in force in a wide area around the plant.
All residents of Futaba, numbering 6,520, have evacuated from the town, with its municipal government now located in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo.
The zones where residents' return is viewed as difficult due to estimated annual radiation exposure exceeding 50 millisieverts cover 96 percent of the town's former population and area.