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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > JCP Koike conveys 2011 disaster victims’ demands to gov’t
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2017 February 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike conveys 2011 disaster victims’ demands to gov’t

February 17, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on February 16 met with officials of each ministry to directly tell them to meet the demands of 2011 disaster-hit communities based on what he learned from conversations he had with the sufferers and the heads of affected municipalities over a period of two days.

Koike, who is also a House of Councilors member, on February 8 and February 9 visited Iwate and Miyagi prefectures to gain understanding of the local circumstances six years after the major earthquake and he found that many victims are caught in a bind.

Noting that assessed value of local land is soaring, Koike pressed the state authorities to increase government grants for the rebuilding of homes to five million yen from the current three million yen.

However, a Cabinet Office official in charge responded that the provision of public funds for private properties would be problematic and in addition it would be financially difficult. Koike counter-argued, “One major reason for the rising land prices even in local regions is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a major national event,” and again emphasized the need for the funding increase.

Koike said that some municipalities, including Rikuzentakata City in Iwate, have shelved the construction of new city government office buildings because they know putting priority on assisting the restoration of residents’ livelihoods is more important. He also said that the Abe government has set a 10-year time limit for disaster recovery but that these municipalities are unlikely to even start office relocations within that time frame. “The larger the damage they incurred, the more they need time to recover. It is absolutely unreasonable for the state government to terminate its rehabilitation aid,” said Koike.

He added, “The state authorities should continue giving relief to the sufferers of the unprecedented catastrophe beyond the limited time frame of the existing system.”
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