J-Village soccer center in Fukushima to partially reopen in July

Feb 13, 2018
The president of the J Village is Governor of Fukushima.
A vice-president is Tepco’ member.
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Construction work continues at J-Village, a national soccer training center that was used by workers dealing with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, in this photo taken in March last year. The facility is set to be partially reopened in July.
FUKUSHIMA – The J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture will partially reopen on July 28, more than seven years after the facility was forced to close due to the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, its operator said Tuesday.
After the reopening, six soccer grounds — five with natural grass and one with synthetic turf — will be available, as well as a lecture hall with a capacity of some 300 people. The capacity of accommodation facilities will be increased to 200 rooms, about twice the pre-disaster level.
J-Village, located in the Fukushima towns of Naraha and Hirono, was used by thousands of workers dealing with the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“We’ll make efforts so that J-Village will become a place that attracts many people with the power of sports again and serves as a symbol of reconstruction in Fukushima,” Eiji Ueda, vice president of the operator, Japan Football Village Co., said at a news conference.
J-Village is expected to fully reopen in the spring of 2019
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Fukushima Facility to Become Soccer Training Camp for 2020 Olympics

Tepco to end operations at the J-Village complex by March

Facility to be used as training camp for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The base for the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear plant will be returned by March to its original use: the training camp for the Japanese national soccer team.

In a symbolic step in the struggle to contain one of the worst nuclear disasters, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. will return the J-Village facility — about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the crippled Dai-Ichi plant and just 7 kilometers from the current exclusion zone — to the prefectural government during the current fiscal year, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Tuesday. It’s also a boon for soccer players who will use the complex as their training base for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The complex, opened in 1997 and shut down after March 2011 meltdown, will be fully reopened for players of “The Beautiful Game” in April 2019. It boasts 11 soccer pitches, a 1,200 square-meter gymnasium and a four-lane pool.

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J-Village when fully opened in 2019. JAPAN FOOTBALL VILLAGE Co. INC.

The hand-over is a shot in the arm for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has vowed the nuclear disaster will not impede the nation’s plans to host the 2020 Games. In September, the premier said the situation at Fukushima is “under control” and that there doesn’t need to be a review of measures to prevent contamination.

This promised handover of J-village would serve as a symbol of progress,” Daniel Aldrich, professor and director of the security and resilience studies program at Northeastern University in Boston, said by e-mail.

Tepco clearly hopes that this will show the nation that it is on track in the Fukushima accident clean up process,” Aldrich said. “However, a number of obstacles, including expanding costs for decommissioning, a lack of physical control over the contaminated groundwater at the site, and complaints about the decontamination process nearby will no doubt hinder the process.”

As Tepco begins in coming years to remove melted fuel at Fukushima, clean-up costs may rise to several hundred billion yen annually from the current 80 billion yen ($763 million), Japan’s industry ministry said in October. About 300 metric tons of water — partly from the nearby hills — flow into the reactor building daily, mixing with melted fuel and becoming contaminated, according to the company.

The utility used the soccer facility as a make-shift base for tasks from corporate communications to measuring the radiation exposure of employees. It even built temporary dormitories there.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-01/japan-s-soccer-team-to-return-to-base-used-for-fukushima-cleanup

 

Dumpling soup from Fukushima like grandma used to make

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“Ganimaki suiton” (front) from Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture and “mami suiton” (back) of Naraha.

The Japan Football Village (J-Village) is a soccer training facility located in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, where Yoshiteru Nishi, chef for the national soccer team, works.

It is located about 20 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. After the 2011 accident at the plant, J-Village was used as a base for decommissioning work.

The green grass pitch was covered in gravel and turned into a parking lot. The restaurant was closed.

That summer, Nishi was asked to cook for the decommissioning workers. He had seen the workers eating canned or boil-in-the-bag foods.

“There are people who need my skills,” Nishi thought, and opened a cafeteria at the facility. He served a buffet of fried chicken, grilled fish, simmered dishes and more. He wanted to support those working in a grueling environment with nutritious meals.

Meanwhile, he opened a restaurant in the neighboring town of Hirono, where eating and drinking establishments remained closed due to the nuclear power plant accident.

“I wanted to create a place where the residents returning from evacuation spots can eat warm meals and feel relaxed,” the 54-year-old chef says.

The menu includes “suiton,” a local dumpling soup with chicken and vegetables that was popular at J-Village. Former national team coach Philippe Troussier once commented, “This is grandma’s taste,” and named it “mami suiton” (mommy’s suiton).

Nishi also introduced another version of suiton called “ganimaki,” a local specialty of Minami-Soma.

Ganimaki is a soup of “mokuzu-gani” (Japanese mitten crab) caught in local rivers. They are finely crushed and run through a sieve. When poured into boiling water, the essence floats up in fluffy form. In Minami-Soma, it is a dish served on festive occasions.

When he was small, Nishi would busy himself catching the deep-green-colored crabs in the river. When his mother stir-fried them with eggs, they tasted heavenly.

Due to radiation contamination caused by the Fukushima plant accident, the Japanese mitten crabs of Minami-Soma are not allowed to be consumed.

“I yearn for them all the more,” Nishi says.

For the recipe, he used crabs caught in Iwaki in southern Fukushima Prefecture.

“The food culture of Fukushima has been nurtured by the large number of people who live here,” Nishi says. “I will strive to keep the tradition alive.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607270008.html

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The Japan Football Village (J-Village) is a soccer training facility located in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, where Yoshiteru Nishi, chef for the national soccer team, works.

Japan Olympic teams to train in nuclear clean-up zone

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Piles of used protective clothing worn by workers inside the contaminated ‘exclusion zone’, seen in 2011 at J-Village, a football training complex serving as an operation base for those battling Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima

 

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Olympic football teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games at a complex currently being used as a base for thousands of workers cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) said Monday that the Japanese men’s and women’s teams would hold their training camps at J-Village, once the country’s centre of excellence until it was taken over by plant operators following the 2011 nuclear disaster.

“The teams will use the J-Village facility as a training base,” JFA communications chief Takato Maruyama told AFP.

“It is something the JFA had been talking about but a timeline hadn’t been formally approved by the executive board, until now,” Maruyama said.

J-Village is on the fringes of the old 12-mile (20-kilometre) exclusion zone around the stricken plant, which suffered a triple reactor meltdown after a giant tsunami slammed into it in March, 2011, causing massive radiation leaks and forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 people.

As the nuclear crisis raged, J-Village became the front line in the fight to control the situation, with helipads, medical centre and dormitories hastily erected for workers filing in and out of the plant in their protective suits and masks.

Following the removal of the no-entry zone last September, the sprawling site located in the sleepy town of Naraha will undergo large-scale reconstruction with a view to a partial reopening by July 2018.

“Obviously the complex will need some refurbishment but that is the time frame we have heard from TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and J-Village,” said Maruyama.

Japanese officials plan to reopen the facility — originally constructed by TEPCO and donated to the regional government in 1997 — to serve as a symbol of recovery for the Tokyo Olympics.

Venues in the tsunami-ravaged northeastern Tohoku region also hoping to be involved in the Games.

“J-Village has always been an important venue and it has a large role to play in the recovering of Fukushima,” JFA director Eiji Ueda told local media.

Despite the symbolic value of training at the complex, the JFA insisted that safety was of utmost importance.

“We can’t make any specific comment on radiation but clearly you can’t play football in places where it isn’t safe for people to go,” said Maruyama, referring to the proposal to reopen J-Village in 2018.

“Obviously it will be opened on condition that all decontamination work has been completed safely,” he added.

“We can’t say (at this point) if that decontamination will have been fully carried out and whether there will be zero effect from radiation by that time.”

Full decontamination work at soccer village

Japan’s environment ministry has started comprehensive decontamination work at a soccer training center named J-Village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Workers started cleaning up the grounds on Monday.

The facility opened as the country’s first national soccer training center in 1997. It had drawn more than one million visitors, including national team members, before the nuclear accident in March 2011.

Since the accident, the center, which is located about 20 kilometers from the damaged plant, has been used as an operation base for decommissioning nuclear reactors.

Ministry officials ordered full decontamination work at J-Village, as they plan to relocate their operation base by the end of March, 2017.

The ministry plans to continue the work until March of next year.

The Fukushima prefectural government intends to reopen the facility as a soccer training center in April 2019. It hopes to welcome athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Source: NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150714_01.html