Returning to Fukushima's nuclear zone

Hisae Unuma's home withstood the earthquake 10 years ago which unleashed a tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant and forced her and 160,000 others to flee their homes.

She returned recently to check on her old house.

Its roof is now close to complete collapse and a bamboo had penetrated through the former living room.

"I'm almost 70 years old, so I don't think it's possible for me to live here. There's no base for a life here. I can't go shopping and there's no hospital, so I can't imagine building a life here."

Japan's government has turned Fukushima's recovery into a symbol of national revival ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games and is encouraging residents to return with financial aid as it decontaminates the land.

But lingering worries about the nearby nuclear plant, lack of jobs and poor infrastructure is keeping many away.

"I want to say to the government: Please don't solve the problem with money. We should be treated like human beings, not animals. They feed us with money to shut us up. It shouldn't be like this. We want to live like human beings. That is what I really want to say."

Unuma declined to claim her compensation, unwilling to be treated as a Fukushima refugee dependent on Tokyo Electric's handouts.

She now lives as a vegetable farmer near the capital and insists on building a life with her own hands.

"There's nothing that lets me feel secure enough to continue making a living. But now since there are people who come to me to buy vegetables, that's the easiest way for me to make a living by delivering vegetables to them daily. That's a life with hope."