While Kobe has managed to rebuild its social infrastructure and housing facilities after the devastation of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, it must now develop new industries for its complete reconstruction, Mayor Kazutoshi Sasayama said in Tokyo Thursday. Speaking at the Japan National Press Club, Sasayama said Kobe’s reconstruction is about 80 percent complete, with services essential to daily living — ports, roads and buildings — having been rapidly reconstructed. He also noted there were no more citizens living in temporary housing facilities as of the end of December. “Our task now is to rebuild the remaining 20 percent by bringing in new corporations and industries to create jobs and pump up the city’s economy,” Sasayama said four days before the fifth anniversary of the Jan. 17 temblor. Explaining the progress his city has made on its 10-year recovery plan, Sasayama said that Kobe aims to develop the medical and the information and communication industries over the next five years. The city aims to establish a high-technology medical center with clinical testing and research facilities, as well as a medical personnel training center and a medical business support center.
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