Abe visits towns in Tohoku disaster areas

JIJI

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday visited a seaweed breeding facility and a cabbage farming corporation in Miyagi Prefecture during his latest visit to the disaster-hit Tohoku region.

Abe told reporters in Higashimatsushima that his administration is ready to provide support for agriculture and fisheries because they are important sectors to promote employment and reconstruction. The area was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

At the seaweed facility in the town of Shichigahama, Abe ate some samples of roasted laver, a type of edible seaweed.

“I’m sure this will be Miyagi’s specialty,” he said, praising its aroma and taste.

The facility, run by a local fisheries cooperative and rebuilt last October, plans to start shipping its products in September.

In Higashimatsushima, he visited public housing for disaster-affected evacuees where tea parties are held to prevent tenants from becoming too isolated.

Abe said he believes the government needs to provide more support for disaster-hit people.