Evacuees from last month's earthquake and tsunami, including those from Fukushima Prefecture, began moving into a closed upscale hotel in Tokyo on Saturday under a temporary relief program by the metropolitan government.
Government officials said some 360 people in 138 households who were affected by the March 11 catastrophic quake and tsunami applied for the program, which would allow them to stay in the guestrooms at the old Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka until the end of June.
Shoichi Ono, 43, an evacuee from Iwaki in the prefecture, said, "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."
While there will be no hotel services, such as cleaning, the Tokyo government will shoulder the cost totaling some 200 million yen, including meals, personnel and utility expenses.
Officials said those eligible to stay will be members of 300 households from the prefecture who failed to win last month's draw for municipal-owned apartments and 150 others tentatively staying at shelters in other areas in Tokyo.
The hotel in downtown Tokyo is scheduled to be torn down in or after July.