Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kyodo News: Evacuees begin moving into Akasaka Prince.

 Evacuees from last month's earthquake and tsunami began moving into the Akasaka Prince on Saturday to take advantage of a temporary relief program run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

                                                                                                                          KYODO PHOTO
Helping out: Evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture check into the old Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, which opened its doors Saturday as a temporary shelter until the end of June.

 The upscale, bubble-era hotel, which is to be razed this summer, is taking in some 360 people from 138 households mostly from Fukushima Prefecture who were displaced by the disaster and nuclear crisis, government officials said.
 The program allows them to use the guest rooms in the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka for free until the end of June.
 "I'm feeling anxious as I don't know what'll happen in the future, but I feel grateful that I can sleep on a futon," said Shoichi Ono, 43, an evacuee from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.
 While the iconic hotel's usual guest services, including room cleaning, won't be available, the metro government is shouldering some ¥200 million of the costs for the gesture, including meals, personnel and utility expenses.
 Among those eligible to stay are 300 Fukushima households that failed to win a drawing last month for the right to rent municipal-owned apartments in the prefecture, and 150 others who are tentatively sheltering elsewhere in Tokyo.


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