• Kyodo

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The government will allocate about ¥6 trillion for a five-year period starting in fiscal 2016 for reconstruction work in the northeastern areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, sources said.

The fresh financing plan for the disaster-afflicted areas, to be finalized as early as June, would bring the state’s total spending on post-quake reconstruction to over ¥30 trillion, the sources said Saturday.

The budget for the “latter term” of the 10-year period of recovery from the natural disasters, which triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis, will be financed without any new tax hike for the purpose.

The government is relying on various tax hikes and asset sales to fund about ¥26 trillion in disaster reconstruction spending through March 2016.

It now expects that cuts in other budgets, increases in tax revenues in line with an economic improvement and money from local governments’ coffers will be enough to secure ¥6 trillion for the five-year period from April 2016 to March 2021, the sources said.

Of the ¥6 trillion, ¥5 trillion will likely go to projects to improve disaster preparedness in the hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, and provide more housing for those who have lost their homes.

The government aims to complete the rebuilding work in 10 years after the quake except for areas devastated by the nuclear accident in Fukushima, expecting its financial support through March 2021 will pave the way for the disaster-hit areas to become financially self-reliant.

But local governments are demanding that the state continue shouldering the entire spending for the region’s rebuilding. The Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima governments say their prefectures alone need a bigger budget for additional rebuilding and disaster prevention projects.

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