SENDAI – More than half of evacuees from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami feel local recovery from the disaster has been insufficient, according to results of a Kyodo News survey released Thursday.
The rate of respondents who said recovery has not been substantial was 54 percent in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures combined. Among the three prefectures severest hit by the disaster, the rate was highest at 73 percent in Fukushima, where a nuclear crisis occurred.
Some respondents in Fukushima said they still have no idea when they will be able to return to their hometowns. The rate was 51.0 percent in Iwate and 39.0 percent in Miyagi.
Kyodo News conducted the survey in December by interviewing 100 people each in the three prefectures. The interviewees were people who lived in coastal areas in the Tohoku region at the time of the disaster and were forced to evacuate because of it, or because of the nuclear accident.
The government has earmarked ¥26 trillion to restore the areas in the five years through March. But survivors apparently regard progress as insufficient.
To a question about local recovery, 14.7 percent said it is proceeding very little and 39.7 percent said it is not proceeding much.
Of the respondents, 40.3 percent said it is proceeding to some degree and 5.0 percent said it is proceeding smoothly.
Some cited belated relocation from coastal areas to places on higher ground.
The government’s Reconstruction Agency said construction had been completed only for about 30 percent of land on higher ground for projects to relocate coastal communities in the three prefectures as of the end of December.
Also, only about 50 percent of public housing for people who suffered in the disaster has been built in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. The construction project has been delayed in Fukushima Prefecture due to the nuclear disaster.