Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
By Toru Hanai
It will soon be the third anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
I myself live in Tokyo, more than a three-hour drive away. Right after the disaster, I too bought bottled water both to drink and to use around the house. Now, however, I drink from the tap without thinking about it.
As the anniversary of the nuclear accident approached, I found myself wondering what life has been like for the people of Fukushima, especially the children, whose lives are still directly affected by it.
So I visited Koriyama city in Fukushima prefecture, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Until last year, Koriyama recommended that children aged 0-2 should not spend more than 15 minutes a day outside and those aged 3-5 should not be outdoors for more than 30 minutes. Even now, some nurseries voluntarily continue to use these limits after the official recommendations were relaxed.