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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 20 - 26  > Koike to 3/11 disaster-affected Iwate governor: JCP will work for continuation of state support
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2019 February 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Koike to 3/11 disaster-affected Iwate governor: JCP will work for continuation of state support

February 20, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on February 19 in Iwate Prefecture, which was hit by the devastating natural disaster eight years ago, held meetings with the governor and representatives of a local business community, expressing his determination to push the Abe government to continue supporting post-disaster reconstruction efforts.

JCP member of the House of Councilors Iwabuchi Tomo (member of the Upper House Special Committee on reconstruction after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake) and JCP members of the Iwate Prefectural Assembly joined Koike on his visit to disaster-affected cities in the prefecture.

In the meeting with Iwate Governor Tasso Takuya at the prefectural government office building, a prefectural government official in charge of post-disaster reconstruction explained that the March 11 massive earthquake and resultant tsunamis left 6,200 people dead or missing and caused damages equivalent to the annual gross domestic production of the prefecture. The official reported that in coastal areas, although the construction of public housing units for disaster victims almost reached the target number, it is still not enough. He added that 2,800 disaster victims are still living in temporary housing units.

Governor Tasso referred to the central government policy under which financial support to the 2011 disaster-hit regions will be terminated at the end of FY2021. He said, “Efforts toward the recovery from the disaster have made some progress. However, there are many important reconstruction projects that need to be continued, such as revitalization of local industries and provision of mental healthcare services to the disaster survivors. We can’t abandon these undertakings despite the government-set 10-year deadline.” The governor demanded the continuation of state assistance.

In reply, Koike said, “I understand that the disaster-devasted coastal region is on the way to recovery. The JCP will urge the Abe government to review its policy on the 2011 disaster reconstruction and to carry on providing necessary support.”

Later in the same day, the JCP group visited Rikuzentakata and Ofunato cities and held meetings with the mayors.

In Rikuzentakata City, Koike met with executives of the city society of commerce and industry.

Society Vice President Iwai Masaatsu expressed his concern about the Abe government plan to end state support for disaster reconstruction in 2021. He stressed that the society plays a role in helping disaster-affected local business owners keep their businesses running. Iwai said, “The number of society members decreased by 200 from the pre-disaster membership of 700, which brought about financial hardships to the society. I hope that the central government will maintain the existing subsidy system for business groups in Iwate Prefecture.”

Koike in his response said, “Local business communities are important in helping to revitalize local economies. The JCP will work to prevent the discontinuation of government support measures.”

Past related articles:
> JCP Koike talks with heads of 2011 disaster-affected municipalities [February 21&23, 2018]
> 3/11 disaster victims still in need of government support [March 11, 2017]

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