Japanese officials are handing out radiation-blocking iodine tablets to people living in the shadow of two nuclear reactors slated to restart this year, reflecting concerns about atomic power after the Fukushima crisis.
The move to distribute the pills - which help to reduce radiation build-up in the body - started on Sunday for those living within 5km of the Sendai nuclear plant. The site, roughly 1,000 km from Tokyo on the southern island of Kyushu, recently cleared new safety standards and could start operations in a few months.
It comes despite vocal opposition to the plan, three years after the crisis.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority said earlier this month that two atomic reactors at the Sendai plant were safe enough to switch back on, marking a big step towards restarting nuclear plants which were shuttered after Fukushima.
Officials in Satsumasendai city and the Kagoshima prefecture said they were handing out iodine tablets to about 4,700 people in the area, some as young as three years old.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying to persuade a wary public that the world's third largest economy must return to an energy source which once supplied more than a quarter of its power.