A Greenpeace report has said that of the 160,000 who fled their homes in the Fukushima area which was devastated when a tsunami damaged a nuclear power plant causing it to leak radioactive material, 80,000 have not yet returned.
To address the problem, over a dozen hunters have been recruited to catch and kill the wild boars with air rifles, both in Namie and the other cities affected by the evacuation order.
'It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars, ' said Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie, which has been partially cleared for people to return home freely at the end of the month.
Reuters reports that as some of the towns near Fukushima re-open, those paving the way for returning residents often see boars strolling the streets. It's speculated that animals moved there because there's less of a chance humans will hunt them or ruin their habitat. "They stare squarely at us as if saying, "What in the world are you doing?' It's like our town has fallen under wild boars" control".
The Japanese government has been sending in teams to "cull" the boars, which has also led the radioactive animals to be filmed and photographed for the first time.
The township, however, is not optimistic about how numerous former residents will want to return.
The boars have been destroying local farms and eating plants contaminated with radiation. For example, well over half of Namie's pre-disaster population of 21,500 have decided not to return home, according to a government survey conducted previous year.
"They began coming down from the mountains and now they're not going back", hunter Shoichi Sakamoto told the network.
But at town meetings earlier this year to prepare for the homecoming, residents had voiced worries about the wild boars. But even if the entire boar population is defeated, residents still aren't itching to return back to their homes.
These evacuees are forced to live "uncomfortable" lives in places such as temporary housing facilities and hospitals, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted in a speech delivered during an annual memorial ceremony organized by the government in Tokyo. They found plenty of food, and no one will come after them.