• Kyodo

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The government has devised plans to hike the state’s portion of payouts of earthquake insurance money so private insurers shoulder less of the burden, sources said Wednesday.

Under the quake insurance system, the state and private sector share the burden in making payments, with the upper limit for overall payouts per quake disaster set at ¥5.5 trillion — ¥4.3 trillion from the state and the remaining ¥1.2 trillion from private insurers.

The government is considering raising its portion by around ¥500 billion to ¥4.8 trillion, while keeping the upper limit unchanged, according to the sources.

The policy has been drawn up as it is expected that resources for the quake insurance payments will decline due to massive payouts stemming from the March 11 catastrophe.

The government is aiming to prevent future arrears in quake insurance payments and a drastic rise in premiums, the sources said.

It will include the policy in the first supplementary budget plan for the current fiscal year to be submitted to the Diet on Thursday, they said. The government will apply the current system for payouts following the latest disaster

Tax relief for victims

A package of tax relief measures was enacted Wednesday for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tohoku region, the first step in tax breaks for reconstruction for individuals and businesses.

The package, passed by a plenary session of the House of Councilors, features a waiver on property tax payments on land lots and houses in the areas devastated by the tsunami for fiscal 2011.

Also covered by the relief program are mortgage borrowers who have lost their homes or had them damaged and people who lost their cars and have to buy new ones.

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