The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill that would extend until 2031 the life of the agency overseeing the recovery in areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The Reconstruction Agency, set up about a year after the triple quake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, was initially going to be shut down in March 2021.

The government said that if the bill passes the Diet, the agency will make further efforts in areas in Fukushima Prefecture still recovering from the nuclear disaster.

Under its basic policy on reconstruction, approved by the Cabinet in late December, the government expects an additional cost of about ¥1.5 trillion to complete recovery efforts in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in the five years through March 2026.

The agency will continue to be headed by a full-time minister. There will still be a special budget for reconstruction separate from the general account, but tax breaks and other preferential treatment will be limited to areas still recovering from major damage sustained in the disasters.