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Fukushima 'dark tourism' aids remembrance and healing

A visitor looks at an abandoned house in the ghost town of Namie, Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disasterShinichi Niitsuma enthusiastically shows visitors the attractions of the small town of Namie: its tsunami-hit coastline, abandoned houses and hills overlooking the radiation-infested reactors of the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant. Five years after the nuclear disaster emptied much of Japan’s northeastern coast, tourism is giving locals of the abandoned town a chance to exorcise the horrors of the past. Like the Nazi concentration camps in Poland or Ground Zero in New York, the areas devastated by the Fukushima disaster have now become hotspots for “dark tourism” and draw annually more than 2,000 visitors keen to see the aftermath of the worst nuclear accident in a quarter century.

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