The mayor of Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday stressed the need for the swift demolition of buildings damaged in the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake in the prefecture.

In a speech at a conference hosted by the Research Institute of Japan, Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya said, "The demolition and removal of buildings will lead to the rebuilding of people's lives and livelihoods."

According to Izumiya, around 7,500 buildings damaged in the temblor are expected to be demolished.

"We need to make swift progress in order to prevent a population outflow," he said. "Although many buildings were damaged, our endeavors have not been destroyed."

Referring to Suzu's efforts to preserve local managed forest, sea and coastal areas, and the Oku-Noto Triennale festival hosted by the city, Izumiya said that his city will aim for reconstruction that incorporates art and advanced technologies.

Suzu was among the worst affected areas in the 7.6-magnitude quake.

"Our residents finally started to feel that things are looking up from around the Golden Week" holiday period from late April to early May, he said, calling for further support for disaster-hit areas.

During Wednesday's conference, Izumiya exchanged views with Minamisanriku Mayor Jin Sato. The town in the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi was severely impacted by the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami.

Recalling that the Minamisanriku government experienced turmoil over disaster relief-related operations because many town officials died in the disaster, Sato said that local governments should draw up plans beforehand for receiving relief supplies.

Izumiya said he was "thankful" that a municipality that dispatched staff to Minamisanriku following the disaster had assigned their roles beforehand.