Trillions for rebuilding Tohoku go unused


The Reconstruction Agency said Wednesday that ¥3.4 trillion — 35.2 percent — of the ¥9.74 trillion in the fiscal 2012 budget slated to rebuild areas hit by the March 2011 disasters went unused.

The year before, 39.4 percent of the reconstruction budget, or around ¥5.9 trillion, went unspent, indicating the recovery effort has suffered from poor planning.

Difficulties coordinating reconstruction plans between different levels of government and forming a consensus among disaster-hit residents have hampered construction, the agency said.

Shortages of workers and materials were also cited.

“We need to have systematic backup to promote reconstruction and facilitate the use of the budget for that purpose,” reconstruction minister Takumi Nemoto said.

The unused ¥3.42 trillion for fiscal 2012 will be reallocated for future reconstruction work.

Last year, ¥4.73 trillion was allocated to rebuild roads and embankments, as well as to relocate residential areas, but 43.9 percent in this category was unused.

Of the ¥655.6 billion earmarked for washing away contamination from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, 67.9 percent was unused, the agency said.

This reflects the difficulty of securing storage sites for contaminated fallen leaves and soil, the agency said.

Unless rebuilding moves forward, devastated communities will keep shrinking, further slowing the process, observers said.

  • Jeffrey

    At this point, how much of this is incompetence as the central government remains mired in petty infighting and how much is intentional with the hope that, if ignored long enough, that most of these economically marginal towns will simply give up and die-off? It’s been more than two years and there still doesn’t seem to be any comprehensive plans for rebuilding the region or specific plans for individual towns.

  • Edward

    And how much of the reconstruction funds were used for projects outside of the Tohoku region?

  • Max Erimo

    Use the money to clean up the radioactive water problem and to stop the water reaching the sea.
    Without fixing this there is absolutely no reason to facilitate rebuilding in the area as once the ground water becomes contaminated the whole area is poison.

    • Masa Chekov

      I 100.00% disagree. The reconstruction efforts in the rest of Tohoku affect far more people in a far more serious way than does Fukushima Daiichi.

      There’s not going to be any rebuilding in the area around Fukushima Daiichi for decades, honestly.

  • Its just a provision. Its actually good when govts are discerning about their spending, lest we forget that they are not so good with taxpayer funds. Better to build factories in a few years than redundant services today. That’s sustainability.