National

Nankai tsunami defense boosted

Kyodo

The Diet on Friday unanimously enacted a law to increase funding for municipalities to prepare for potential tsunami from a powerful quake centered on the Nankai Trough off central and western Japan.

Under the new law, the central government will shoulder three-quarters of the costs for municipalities to create land to relocate homes, schools, welfare facilities and hospitals to higher ground.

The law designates Pacific coastal areas stretching from the Tokai region to Kyushu as “special areas” that require increased tsunami measures.

The central government estimates there is a 60 to 70 percent chance of a quake measuring magnitude 8 or greater occurring in the Nankai Trough within the next 30 years.

The law allows the government to partially fund projects by local authorities to erect tsunami evacuation towers and establish escape routes.

Under the current system, the central government provides subsidies for obtaining and preparing land on higher ground to relocate homes. The new law expands the scope to schools and other facilities.

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