Kawauchi, Fukushima

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Kawauchi Village Hall
Flag of Kawauchi
Official seal of Kawauchi
Location of Kawauchi in Fukushima Prefecture
Location of Kawauchi in Fukushima Prefecture
Kawauchi is located in Japan
Coordinates: 37°20′15″N 140°48′34″E / 37.33750°N 140.80944°E / 37.33750; 140.80944Coordinates: 37°20′15″N 140°48′34″E / 37.33750°N 140.80944°E / 37.33750; 140.80944
 • Total197.35 km2 (76.20 sq mi)
 (January 1, 2020)
 • Total1,861
 • Density9.4/km2 (24/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeAbies firma
- FlowerEnkianthus campanulatus
- BirdJapanese bush-warbler
Phone number0240-38-2111
AddressKamikawauchi, Kawauchi-mura, Futaba-gun, Fukushima-ken 979-1292
WebsiteOfficial website
Hebusu Swamp in Kawauchi

Kawauchi (川内村, Kawauchi-mura) is a village located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2020, the village had an official registered population of 1,861, and a population density of 9.5 persons per km². The total area of Kawauchi is 197.35 square kilometres (76.20 sq mi).[1] The village was evacuated as a result of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, but in 2014, all restrictions were lifted.


Kawauchi is located in the Abukuma Plateau of central Fukushima with a mean altitude of between 400 and 500 meters. North of Kawauchi, there is at 37°22′53″N 140°48′16″E / 37.38139°N 140.80444°E / 37.38139; 140.80444 (Kawauchi Substation) a substation of Kita–Iwaki powerline, a 500 kV-line already designed for future 1100 kV operation.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]


Per Japanese census data,[2] the population of Kawauchi has declined steadily over the past 60 years and is now almost half what it was a century ago.

Historical population
1920 5,573—    
1930 4,275−23.3%
1940 4,540+6.2%
1950 5,930+30.6%
1960 5,966+0.6%
1970 4,709−21.1%
1980 4,132−12.3%
1990 3,933−4.8%
2000 3,384−14.0%
2010 2,821−16.6%


Kawauchi has a humid continental climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by mild summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average annual temperature in Kawauchi is 10.3 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1431 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 22.5 °C, and lowest in January, at around -0.7 °C.[3]


The area of present-day Kawauchi was part of Mutsu Province. After the Meiji restoration, on April 1, 1889, the village of Kawauchi was created within Futaba District, Fukushima with the establishment of the modern municipalities system.

2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster[edit]

Kawauchi suffered moderate damage from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. However, the eastern portion of the village is located within the nominal 20-kilometer exclusion zone of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and as a result of wind patterns following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the entire population of the village was evacuated by government order by May 2011. A portion of the village was re-opened in March 2012.[4][5]

In August 2014, the government divided the remaining portion of the village into two zones, and projected a lifting of the evacuation order for 275 residents in one of the zones in October.[6]

The ambient radiation dose was lower than that of the surrounding municipalities, and as of 2012, the average exposure dose among residents was reported to be below 1 millisievert per year.[7] By 2017, more than 80% of the villagers had returned, but many were older and the younger generation had a lower return rate than the whole.[8] It was reported that lifestyle-related diseases after the earthquake were increasing with the aging of the population.[9] More than 100 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium has been detected in 76% of wild mushrooms collected between 2016 and 2019.[10]


The economy of Kawauchi was formerly heavily dependent on agriculture.


Kawauchi had two high schools (one public, one private), one junior high school, one elementary school, and a kindergarten in March 2011. After the evacuation and re-opening of the town both high schools were closed. The junior high school, elementary school, and kindergarten remain open.



  • Kawauchi is not served by any train stations.



  1. ^ "Home Page" (in Japanese). Katsurao Village. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. ^ Kawauchi population statistics
  3. ^ Kawauchi climate data
  4. ^ "Japan reopens parts of Fukushima evacuation zone", The Guardian, March 30, 2012.
  5. ^ NHK-World (16 April 2012) Govt. lifts evacuation order for Minamisoma City Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Myoraku, Asao "Second group of Fukushima residents given OK to return home in evacuation zone", Archived 2015-02-16 at the Wayback Machine The Asahi Shimbun, August 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Harada, Kouji H.; Niisoe, Tamon; Imanaka, Mie; Takahashi, Tomoyuki; Amako, Katsumi; Fujii, Yukiko; Kanameishi, Masatoshi; Ohse, Kenji; Nakai, Yasumichi; Nishikawa, Tamami; Saito, Yuuichi (2014-03-11). "Radiation dose rates now and in the future for residents neighboring restricted areas of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (10): E914–E923. doi:10.1073/pnas.1315684111. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3956155. PMID 24567380.
  8. ^ "NHK仙台放送局 | 被災地からの声". NHK仙台放送局 | 被災地からの声 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  9. ^ Chung, Yun-Shan; Harada, Kouji H.; Igari, Keiko; Ishizuka, Jinrou; Koizumi, Akio (December 2020). "The incidence of diabetes among the non-diabetic residents in Kawauchi village, Fukushima, who experienced evacuation after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster". Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. 25 (1): 13. doi:10.1186/s12199-020-00852-x. ISSN 1342-078X. PMC 7210664. PMID 32384869.
  10. ^ Cui, Limeng; Orita, Makiko; Taira, Yasuyuki; Takamura, Noboru (2020-09-15). Mousseau, Tim A. (ed.). "Radiocesium concentrations in mushrooms collected in Kawauchi Village five to eight years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident". PLOS ONE. 15 (9): e0239296. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0239296. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 7491737. PMID 32931520.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kawauchi, Fukushima at Wikimedia Commons