Bills to speed state disaster action

JIJI

The Cabinet Office will introduce legislation to allow the central government to respond more speedily to massive natural disasters, officials said Friday.

At a panel meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Cabinet Office representatives said the office will submit a bill to the current Diet session that would allow the central government to carry out restoration projects, particularly those along rivers and coasts, on behalf of municipalities crippled by a huge disaster.

Under the bill, the government would set up a reconstruction headquarters and work out basic plans covering target areas and project specifics.

The Cabinet Office plans to submit a separate bill to the Diet to amend the basic disaster countermeasure law. The bill will urge municipalities to list elderly and disabled people deemed unable to evacuate on their own in the event of a massive disaster, the officials said.