The Yomiuri ShimbunIITATE, Fukushima — Colorful fireworks filled the skies over Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday night for the first time in seven years.
The government lifted an evacuation order for most of Iitate this spring. The order was originally issued in the wake of the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushina No. 1 nuclear power plant following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
About 250 fireworks delivered a shot of joy to area residents.
The fireworks display used to be held on the eve of the Mori to Mizuumi no Matsuri (Festival of the forest and lake) in July every year at a dam on a lake in the northeastern part of the village. According to an Iitate official, only 466 of the 5,977 registered residents actually are currently living in the village as of Aug. 1. There are still many people who have yet to return, but organizers decided to revive the popular local event.