The Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters of the Japanese government has, as of December 10, lifted the evacuation order for Okuma Town, where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants are located. According to the JAIF Atoms in Japan news service, the government has reclassified the town into three new areas: one in which evacuation orders will eventually be lifted, one that is still restricted to residents, and one where residents will find it difficult to return home for a long time.

In the first two areas mentioned above, the residents can enter the area relatively freely (though not all the time), including returning temporarily to their homes, and using main roads. They cannot usually stay in the areas overnight, however the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters has decided to approve short stays in the areas from 29 December 2012, through 3 January 2013, due to the holiday period. Precautions, such as measuring radiation doses, along with steps to prevent crimes and fires will be taken, according to JAIF.

The reclassification of the town covers only the land portion of the town, while the restrictions will continue for the sea portion.