Los Angeles Times

Can 2020 Summer Olympics help Fukushima rebound from nuclear disaster?

FUKUSHIMA, Japan - An hour north of Tokyo by way of bullet train, the land is lush and green, framed by thickly wooded mountains in the distance.

This vast rural prefecture in northeast Japan was once renowned for its fruit orchards, but much has changed.

"There has been a bad reputation here," a local government official said.

Since the spring of 2011, the world has known Fukushima for the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed approximately 16,000 people along the coast. Flooding triggered a nuclear plant meltdown that forced hundreds of thousands more from their homes.

As the recovery process continues nearly a decade later, organizers of the 2020 Summer Games say they want to help.

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