The Reconstruction Agency was launched 7 ½ years ago to facilitate efforts to rebuild areas ravaged by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake during the initial 10-year intensive reconstruction period. Upon recommendation by the ruling coalition parties, the government reportedly plans to revise relevant laws next year to extend its legally mandated term beyond March 2021.

The decision to keep the agency in operation seems to make sense given that the reconstruction efforts are only halfway finished. Still, simply keeping the organization on its current mission will not address the question of how to beef up the government’s disaster prevention, disaster response and reconstruction functions in an integrated manner — a challenge that is all the more urgent as more catastrophic mega-disasters are anticipated in the future.

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