• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday his Cabinet will designate Typhoon Lionrock as a disaster of extreme severity, allowing affected communities to receive higher subsidies from the central government for reconstruction work.

Addressing reporters during a visit to areas of Hokkaido damaged by the typhoon earlier this month, Abe said the Cabinet will make the move on Friday.

“We hope to fortify assistance for small and medium-sized businesses in heavily affected areas and expand support for disaster recovery projects involving infrastructure such as roads, waterways and bridges as well as farmland and agricultural facilities,” Abe said.

Locals affected by the disaster had asked Abe to swiftly apply the designation when they spoke with him earlier in the day.

Abe inspected the city of Obihiro from a Self-Defense Forces helicopter before speaking with farmers whose land was damaged by flooding after a levee along a river gave way.

Abe also spoke with Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi and other local leaders.

A planned visit the same day to Iwate Prefecture, which also suffered severe damage as a result of the storm, was cancelled due to poor weather. Abe was to visit a nursing home in the town of Iwaizumi where nine people died in typhoon-linked flooding.

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