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HKFP Lens: Never-before-seen shots from Japan’s Fukushima exclusion zone, untouched since 2011

By Keow Wee Loong
Five years ago, an energy accident involving the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant rendered the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan uninhabitable. The power plant’s failure was primarily caused by a tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, video rental store

A video rental store with 2011 movie posters still on display. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Photographer Keow Wee Loong entered the exclusion zone without a permit as he became impatient with the bureaucratic process of applying for one. He felt a burning sensation in his eyes and smelled chemicals in the air as he stepped into the deserted town.
Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, street

A traffic light remained functional in the deserted Fukushima exclusion zone. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

According to Keow’s Facebook page, the town had remained largely unchanged since the energy crisis. There was little sign of looting as he could find objects such as food, money, gold and laptops in the exclusion zone.
Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, shoe store

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Areas impacted by the 2011 nuclear accident included the towns of Okuma, Futaba, Namie and Tomioka.
Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, floristry

A florist that smelled of decaying flowers inside the Fukushima exclusion zone. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, supermarket

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, barricade

A barricade in Okuma town. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, bookstore

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, CD shop

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, laundry

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, family mart

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, magazine

A shelf of magazines published in March 2011. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, naime, supermarket

A supermarket in Namie town. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, naime, train station

An abandoned train station in Naime town. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration, tomioka

A parking area in Tomioka town. Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Fukushima exclusion zone, nuclear, urban exploration

Photo: Keow Wee Loong.

Click to see more of Keow Wee Loong’s work on Facebook.

HKFP Lens: Never-before-seen shots from Japan's Fukushima exclusion zone, untouched since 2011