The government will put particular focus on small and midsize companies in its provision of recovery assistance following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, Cabinet minister Kazunori Tanaka said Sunday.

The measures will focus on areas such as agriculture and tourism, Tanaka said during a TV interview.

Tanaka also said it was necessary to consider ways to increase the number of residents in disaster-hit areas.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori, whose prefecture was among those hardest-hit by the disaster, said many areas have seen little progress in the return of residents who evacuated.

It is necessary to create medical, educational and shopping infrastructure that will allow residents to return without worry, Uchibori said. The other two hardest-hit prefectures were Iwate and Miyagi.

Iwate Gov. Takuya Tasso said the reconstruction of industrial infrastructure was advancing but that the rebuilding of marketing channels and tourism was making little headway.

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said, “A big problem is that there is little progress in the recovery of marketing channels.” It is imperative to promote the movement of people and goods, he said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.