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Only two out of 47 prefectures have completed their earthquake-readiness plans on time, according to a report by the Cabinet Office.

The two achieved more than the objectives set forth in their plans.

While Shimane has completed 110.7 percent of its goals and Fukushima 105.5 percent, the average rate for all prefectures was 74.3 percent, according to the report.

Each prefectural government devised a five-year plan after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, which resulted in the loss of more than 6,400 lives in and around Kobe.

The plans were to be completed between fiscal 1996 and fiscal 2000. The government has extended the deadline for five years from fiscal 2001.

The poor performance was attributed mainly to slim municipal finances and a lack of state subsidies to help local governments determine the quake resistance of buildings.

Saitama had the lowest completion ratio, 39.2 percent, because residents wanted to preserve an old urban area crowded with houses and other buildings.

Shiga, Osaka, Kanagawa and Chiba completed about 50 percent of their plans, while Ibaraki, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Nagasaki and Kumamoto were at 60 percent. Disputes over older residential areas were a factor in those cases as well.

Prefectural governments completed only an average of 20.1 percent of their plans to improve emergency aid facilities and 20.9 percent of plans to reinforce public buildings, it says. But they completed 55 percent of plans to improve public elementary and junior high school buildings.

Completion rates for improving public schools for the blind reached 33.2 percent, and social welfare facilities reached 45.8 percent, according to the report.

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