• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday vowed to speed up reconstruction of areas ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami as he inspected disaster-hit firms in Miyagi Prefecture.

In the coastal city of Ishinomaki, Abe visited a shipbuilding firm and a seafood processing facility with reconstruction minister Takumi Nemoto.

“I will consolidate power in the Reconstruction Agency for (more speedy) decisions on reconstruction,” Abe said during his inspection of the shipbuilder.

At the seafood processing plant, Abe said he will seek legislation sponsored by lawmakers if necessary to respond to requests by residents in areas in Tohoku devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

It is the second time Abe has visited disaster areas in the northeast since his appointment as prime minister Dec. 26. On Dec. 29, he visited Fukushima Prefecture, where Japan’s worst nuclear plant disaster unfolded in the wake of the quake-tsunami double whammy.

On Friday, Abe’s Cabinet endorsed an economic stimulus package that, among other goals, is aimed at accelerating reconstruction work in the northeast.

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