• Kyodo


The central government decided Friday to increase financial aid to quake-hit areas of Hokkaido and regions reeling from typhoons in order to help with reconstruction work.

The government designated damage in Hokkaido and other areas as “extremely severe” and will provide 10 to 20 percent higher subsidies to hard-hit municipalities than it usually does for smaller disasters to assist with the repair of infrastructure including roads, bridges and agricultural facilities.

More than ¥100 billion ($885 million) is estimated to be required for recovery work following the magnitude 6.7 quake that jolted Hokkaido on Sept. 6 and a trio of strong typhoons — Soulik, Cimaron and Jebi — that battered wide areas of central and western Japan in August and September.

“The central and local governments will work together to deal with rehabilitation and reconstruction, so that the disaster victims can restore their livelihoods and feel at ease as soon as possible,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

The decision was the second of its kind this fiscal year.

Areas of western Japan received extra funds for recovery following devastating torrential rains that unleashed landslides and floods in the region in July.

The expanded subsidies will cover nine typhoon-affected municipalities in Niigata, Nagano, Osaka, Nara and Wakayama prefectures.

Among the three typhoons, Jebi left 13 people dead and took a toll on western Japan by causing a temporary closure and later reduced operations at Kansai International Airport, the main international gateway into the region.

The Hokkaido quake killed 41 people and triggered a prefecture-wide blackout. The central government will also ease borrowing conditions for small and midsize companies from the hardest-hit towns of Atsuma, Mukawa and Abira to fund recovery activities.

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