Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese labor ministry said Friday that 171 people remained unemployed as of Jan. 13 in the three northeastern prefectures ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami last March after their unemployment benefit expired the previous day.
Under a special measure adopted in May, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare extended the benefit for jobless people in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures for 60 days to a total of 120 days.
In October, the ministry extended the benefit for 90 more days for residents in coastal areas hit by monster tsunami triggered by the 9.0-magnitude quake on March 11.
By Jan. 12, when the unemployment benefit was terminated, 630 people had received payments. Of them, only 459 had secured jobs, the ministry said.