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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 10 - 16  > 2011 disaster victims call on state to keep covering all costs for reconstruction work
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2015 June 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

2011 disaster victims call on state to keep covering all costs for reconstruction work

June 13, 2015
Survivors of the 2011 disaster in northeastern Japan have demanded that the central government continue to cover all the costs needed for reconstruction work in the devastated areas.

Civic groups supporting survivors’ reconstruction efforts in the disaster-hit prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima on June 12 made representations to the Reconstruction Agency. They urged the agency to cancel its plan to have affected municipal governments shoulder part of the costs for the post-disaster reconstruction which is now funded in full by the central government.

At the representation, Tsunashima Fujio, representative of a civic group in Miyagi, said that local governments are confused by the agency’s plan to shift part of the financial burden on them.

On behalf of a civic organization in Iwate, Maekawa Keiichi said that the area he used to live in suffered severe damage from the massive earthquake four years ago and that houses and railroad tracks have yet to be rebuilt. He added that residents are worried about a possible termination of local bus services which highly depend on state subsidies.

Saito Yoshiharu, who heads a citizens’ group in Fukushima, criticizingly pointed out that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is seeking to slash the amount of compensation currently being paid to the victims after lifting the evacuation orders for areas around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

State Minister for Reconstruction Nagashima Tadayoshi in reply said that the agency will be careful not to impose excessive financial burdens on the local municipalities so that victims will continue to receive support.

Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko and Hatayama Kazuya accompanied the residents.
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