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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 10 - 16  > JCP Takahashi pushes gov’t to increase grants for victims of 2011 massive disaster
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2016 February 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

JCP Takahashi pushes gov’t to increase grants for victims of 2011 massive disaster

February 16, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Takahashi Chizuko at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on February 15 urged the national government to drastically increase the amount of grants for survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster.

It has been nearly five years since the March 11 disaster, but about 178,000 people are still forced to live as evacuees across the country.

Takahashi pointed out that no matter how many fine roads and buildings are built, it does not lead to real reconstruction unless disaster victims can rebuild their own lives and livelihoods. She demanded that the government raise the upper limit on the amount of subsidies for sufferers from the current three million yen to five million yen without delay so that they can have the prospect of rebuilding their homes and their lives.

In reply to Takahashi, Disaster Management Minister Kono Taro only said, “I’ll work to encourage survivors to take out insurance or mutual-aid policies.”

The JCP legislator referred to the fact that the prefectural and municipal governments in Iwate, which is one of the hardest-hit prefectures by the disaster, created independent subsidy programs and provide each affected household with 5 to 10 million yen to help them reconstruct their houses. Takahashi underscored the national government’s responsibility to rebuild survivors’ livelihoods, noting that this is not a personal financial issue but a public matter pertaining to how best to revitalize the stricken regions.

* * *

During the same committee session, Takahashi grilled Environment Minister Marukawa Tamayo regarding her recent remarks that “there is no scientific basis” for the present decontamination target which was set by the government at that time following the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in 2011.

Just a few days earlier, the minister retracted her statement, saying that it may cause a “misunderstanding” among victims.

Takahashi pushed Marukawa to apologize to all sufferers as well as those engaged in decontamination work for her remarks, saying, “It’s you who misunderstand the situation of victims.”

Past related article:
> Yamashita urges PM to secure decent housing for disaster victims [January 29, 2016]
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