Fukushima beach reopens for swimming
Families and surfers in Japan have been allowed to swim at a beach near the Fukushima nuclear plant for the first time since the 2011 disaster.
Kitaizumi beach finally opened to cheering crowds today, eight years on from the disaster, as the city of Minamisoma officially started to allow people to swim there.
The stretch of beach is about 25km north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The beach was very popular with surfers before the tsunami and nuclear disaster, with multiple national and world championships being held there.
Local resident Sayaka Mori went for a walk along the beach with her husband and their three children, Kyodo News agency reported.
"I grew up while seeing this sea. Coming back here for the first time in nine years, I feel a sense of nostalgia," Mori said with a smile, according to Kyodo.
Mori's house, which used to be located near the beach, was sadly washed away by the tsunami.
In March 2011, a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of the northeast, killing about 18,500 people.
The twin natural disasters also caused the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant.