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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 16 - 21  > Gov’t should provide victim-oriented support in efforts to recover from typhoon damage
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2019 October 16 - 21 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should provide victim-oriented support in efforts to recover from typhoon damage

October 16, 2019

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Typhoon Hagibis brought about record-breaking heavy rains in eastern Japan, causing widespread damage, injuries, and death. Rivers overflowed and burst their banks, resulting in inundation in many locations. Although measures to determine the exact extent of damages are making little progress, it is clear that a considerable number of houses, stores, and factories were flooded. The farming, forestry, and fishing industries were also badly affected. The Abe government should listen carefully to the voices of typhoon-stricken regions and quickly implement support measures.

The urgent need now is to set up enough evacuation facilities and improve the living environments there. Evacuees should be provided with warm and nutritious meals, proper bedding, and partitions to protect privacy. A system to maintain the evacuees’ health conditions, which includes dispatch of more medical staff, should be established.

At a House of Councilors Budget Committee that was held on October 15 to discuss measures to support typhoon victims, Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Inoue Satoshi asked whether temporary shelters are operated in accordance with the national guidelines set by the Cabinet Office in 2016. The guidelines underscore the need to improve the quality of life in shelters based on lessons learned from natural disasters in the past. To improve the quality of life, in this context, is to create an environment which ensures that evacuees have a decent quality of life with human dignity. Citing findings of JCP on-site inspections at evacuation centers in Nagano City, which suffered a devastating flood due to the overflow of the Chikuma River, Inoue demanded improvements in facilities’ living environments.

Typhoon Hagibis also delivered a destructive blow to the agricultural sector, especially to farmers who were preparing to harvest their crops. In addition to the government’s ongoing efforts to support the recovery from Typhoon Faxai which hit Japan last month, the government should drastically increase measures to rebuild affected local businesses. The existing law concerning support for reconstructing the livelihoods of disaster victims is insufficient to enable them to rebuild their flooded houses. The government should not only make full use of existing laws and programs but also adopt a flexible approach and propose necessary law revisions in order to meet the demands and needs of victims. It is essential for the government to implement support measures with top priority placed on the reconstruction of victims’ livelihoods and businesses.

Past related article:
> Opposition parties call for Diet discussions on measures to support typhoon victims [September 18&19, 2019]
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