KYODO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his administration will craft a new five-year plan by summer to promote reconstruction in areas of Tohoku damaged by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.
“With a five-year intensive reconstruction period ending in March next year, (the administration) will draw up a framework by summer of new assistance for reconstruction in the next five years,” Abe said at a news conference on Tuesday.
He said the administration will also outline by summer a vision for the future of Fukushima Prefecture, which has suffered from the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
The administration will do its best to get the Diet to approve sufficient funding for fiscal 2015, which will start April 1, to maintain the rebuilding effort, Abe said.
“Reconstruction is only halfway done,” he said, and his government will emphasize “speeding up the work.”
Asked about recent revelations of another leak of radioactive water into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Abe said: “It is very regrettable that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (the operator of the plant) failed to sufficiently disclose information.” He added that the government has instructed Tepco to take additional measures to curb the leak of radioactive materials.
Despite the negative news, Abe said he wants the world to see progress of the recovery through events such as a Group of Seven summit slated to be held here in 2016 and the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament, part of which will take place in the city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture.
Abe said Japan will increase efforts so it can achieve the full reconstruction of Fukushima and other disaster-hit areas in time for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games in Tokyo.
The government will choose the venue of next year’s G-7 summit ahead of this year’s summit in June in Germany.
The G-7 member nations are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
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