TOKYO (Nikkei)–The Land Ministry is planning an initiative on building safety under which local governments would designate tsunami danger zones and regulate construction of public and commercial facilities in these areas accordingly.
The new regulatory scheme, which draws upon the lessons of the March 11 disaster, will be part of legislation on tsunami safety in urban planning, slated to go before the Diet as early as this fiscal year.
Guidelines for designating tsunami danger zones would be set at the national level. The at-risk category would include areas where existing seawalls do not measure up to the largest tsunamis on local record, and where evacuation routes and shelters are lacking.
Local governments would follow these guidelines and regulate construction of shopping centers, municipal offices, emergency shelters and other buildings in the danger zones as needed by specifying such precautions as making buildings at least 20 meters tall and using steel-reinforced concrete.
(The Nikkei July 13 morning edition)