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More than 21 months have passed since the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the Pacific coastal areas of the Tohoku region. The central government and citizens outside the disaster-hit areas should remember that the lives of many victims remain shattered and that the reconstruction of local economies is far from finished.

Merely accelerating the speed of reconstruction will not be enough. It must also meet the needs of local residents and municipal governments. It appears that construction of roads, ports, river banks, etc., is proceeding on schedule. But progress is slow in projects directly related to aiding local residents affected by the tsunami, such as relocating them to highland areas or constructing public housing for them.

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