Japan Press Weekly
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Shii encourages quake victims
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 26 visited three cities heavily affected by the Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake. Offering them donations, he asked each mayor and residents at evacuation shelters what they need most to help restore their lives to a semblance of normalcy.
Later at a news conference, Shii said as follows:
gI visited Kurihara City in Miyagi Prefecture, and Ichinoseki and Oshu cities in Iwate Prefecture. Because the quake struck the inland regions, some roads were cut off isolating many villages from the rest of the region.
The JCP will demand that the government designate as soon as possible the three cities and the two prefectures as heavily-damaged areas that need extra government financial assistance in order to quickly reconstruct the infrastructure such as roads and water and electricity supplies.
The revised Natural Disaster Victims Relief Law makes it possible to use tax money to rebuild houses. However, none of the quake-hit municipalities is recovered enough to start assessing house damage as gdestroyed totallyh or gdestroyed partially.h Therefore, the government should instead send manpower assistance to these municipalities to undertake reconstruction of houses by flexibly utilizing the relief law.
The extent of the damage to the local economy in such industries as farming, fish firming (char), and tourism is so large that substantial pubic aid will be required.
The government must grasp the full scale of the devastation and give the maximum possible necessary support. The JCP will also make its utmost effort to give as much support as possible.h - Akahata, June 27, 2008
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