Police officers man a checkpoint in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, about 20-kilometers (12-miles) from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant Monday, April 11, 2011. The signs read 'No entry, Entry not allowed by the special nuclear disaster legislation,' right, and 'Security check in operation,' left. Kyodo News

April 23 (Asahi Shimbun) – The 83-year-old man spoke with tears in his eyes. "It's all over. It is better to just die." He had just learned his small farm would be sealed off at midnight April 21 inside the government's no-entry zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Like many with properties within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled plant, he feared the worst--that he would never see his home again.

The farmer, who grew rice and vegetables in Naraha with his wife, got the news while watching TV at an evacuation center in the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture.

"That home, that land is the very essence of our lives," the man said. "We used to say to each other, 'Let's both die in that home.'"

The farmer's 80-year-old wife was hospitalized after they evacuated. The farmer himself feels his legs have suddenly weakened after leaving the family farm. …

No-entry zone sealed, residents fear they will never return home



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