Fukushima evacuees eye Japan's Olympics preparation

In the Japanese town Futaba roads are being repaved, ready for the Olympic torch relay in late March.

But locals say new street lamps aren't enough to shine a new light on this town, just four kilometers away from ground zero of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

Yuju Onuma was one of those who evacuated during the triple meltdown. He's unhappy with the government's use of the town as a quote "fake recovery promotion".


"The removal of the evacuation order and reconstructing the roads are just for the Olympics. From the townspeople's perspective, it hasn't recovered at all. It is just words. It is doing good for the construction companies and workers."

There has been speculation that the global spread of the coronavirus could derail the Olympics.

But Japanese officials have said they are confident the Games will go ahead.

For Onuma, the issue is lingering radiation.


"When I came in here (yesterday), I walked on a branch road which had a radiation reading of over 15 microsieverts (per hour). Although it may seem like we've recovered, there are actually many places where the situation is the same as nine years ago."

When the Olympic torch bearers run through Futaba this month it will be along a path.

It won't showcase the side of town that's crumbling.

Roofs in shambles, decay and caved-in walls where over 7,000 people had to quickly evacuate. Japan's Prime Minister has repeatedly said the situation is under control and called the games the "reconstruction Olympics".

But some residents believe the Olympics has actually hindered the region's recovery, stalling reconstruction projects because of the demand for all hands on deck to build the shiny new Olympic facilities and stadiums.