National

Government approves ¥7 trillion infrastructure plan to prepare for disasters

Kyodo

The government on Friday approved an emergency resilience plan worth ¥7 trillion ($62 billion) for key infrastructure after the nation was hit this summer by a series of disasters, including earthquakes, typhoons and torrential rain that caused fatal landslides and floods.

Under the 160-item plan to be implemented by March 2021, the government will bolster and raise embankments on about 120 rivers to prevent floods, improve power-supply systems at airport terminal buildings and remove concrete block walls at schools or improve their quake resistance.

As part of efforts to prevent massive power outages, the government will also help introduce private power generation facilities and power-saving systems.

“As disasters have become more serious in recent years, it is necessary to respond to them with speed,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of ministers.

The measures stipulated in the plan reflect the actual damage caused by the natural disasters that ravaged Japan earlier this year.

In June, a 9-year-old girl was crushed to death on her way to an elementary school in Osaka after a concrete wall collapsed due to a magnitude 6.1 quake that jolted the region.

In September, a powerful typhoon inundated a large part of Kansai International Airport, the main gateway to western Japan, causing a power outage at its terminal building.

Also in September, Hokkaido experienced an island-wide blackout in the wake of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake.

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