The government approved a plan Thursday to drastically reduce its budget for reconstruction of areas hit by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster due to progress in ongoing projects.

For the five years from fiscal 2021, the government projects to spend some ¥1.5 trillion for reconstruction of such areas, mainly in Tohoku.

The plan was included in the government’s new basic policy for reconstruction following the disaster.

The government’s post-2011 disaster reconstruction spending is expected to exceed ¥31 trillion in the 10 years through the end of fiscal 2020.

The basic policy also calls on the term of service of the Reconstruction Agency to be extended by 10 years until the end of fiscal 2030. It was established in February 2012 to oversee the reconstruction process.

The agency will relocate its local bureaus in Sendai and Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, to coastal areas still facing a series of reconstruction challenges.

“Psychological care and other support measures are still needed for people affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and medium- to long-term support is necessary in areas hit by the nuclear accident,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his ministers at a meeting of the Reconstruction Promotion Council.

“I want all Cabinet ministers to share the basic policy and make utmost efforts for reconstruction,” Abe said at the meeting where the policy was approved.

The Abe Cabinet is expected to formally adopt the basic policy as early as Friday. The government aims to submit related legislation to the Diet early next year.

The five-year budget includes ¥500 billion for recovery from the nuclear accident, ¥200 billion for home and community development, ¥200 billion for reviving industries and ¥100 billion in support to disaster victims.

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