SENDAI–The Miyagi prefectural government has decided on a final draft of the prefecture’s disaster reconstruction plan for the 10 years following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The final draft is aimed at building a disaster-resistant prefecture and includes ideas to move residential areas to higher ground, separating them from industrial areas. It also calls for the rehabilitation of fisheries, encouraging private sector investors to join the businesses.
The draft was accepted Wednesday at a meeting of the prefecture’s disaster reconstruction headquarters led by Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai. The draft will be officially adopted pending its approval by the prefectural assembly in September.
Because the Sanriku coast sustained severe damage in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the draft proposes disaster-resistance ideas. The draft includes:
— Constructing main roads and railways on embankments that can act as levees.
— Construction of earthquake-resistant buildings.
The disaster caused serious damage to fisheries in the prefecture. All 142 ports were affected, while about 12,000 fishing boats, or about 90 percent of the total, were damaged. As part of the plan, the government plans to integrate port facilities.
According to a survey conducted by the Federation of Miyagi Prefecture Fisherman’s Cooperative Associations, about 30 percent of fishermen did not want to continue fishing. This, along with the aging fishing population, caused concern with Murai who said, “Fisheries in Miyagi might disappear within a few dozen years.”
The final draft also outlined plans for the plains that stretch to the south of Sendai. It suggests promoting agriculture in the area by organizing farms and creating parks and green spaces on subsided coastal land the central government is expected to buy.
The draft also requested the central government introduce a “disaster countermeasures tax” as a new indirect tax system to finance rehabilitation measures, and to establish a “special rehabilitation zone in Eastern Japan,” which would include drastic deregulatory measures and incentives to help reconstruction efforts.
Regarding the final draft, Murai said, “We’ll do our best to realize everything so that the draft won’t be called pie in the sky.”