Kobe budgets 200 billion yen to rebuild

KOBE — The Kobe Municipal Government has allocated about 200 billion yen of its fiscal 1997 budget to help its citizens rebuild their lives in the wake of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The proposal, announced Feb. 18, includes a general accounts budget set at 954.7 billion yen, an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous fiscal year, and a special accounts budget of 1.14 trillion yen, up 1.7 percent from the year before. Issued municipal bonds amounted to 1.89 trillion yen in the budget proposal and the redemption of municipal bonds accounted for an average 21.6 percent of expenditure in the past three years.

As a result, the Kobe government will be placed under the guidance of the Home Affairs Ministry regarding the issuance of municipal bonds in fiscal 1998. Local governments facing financial problems routinely receive financial guidance from the ministry.

In the proposed budget, the government allocated 200.5 billion yen for medical and public health care, as well as for implementing measures to increase employment opportunities and secure housing. Toward rebuilding efforts, the city allocated 11.3 billion yen for redevelopment projects in urban areas, 5.1 billion yen for rezoning areas damaged by the quake and 200 million yen to promote tourism.