TOKYO (Nikkei)–Only 5% of rubble from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011 has been disposed of in the three worst-hit prefectures, the government said Tuesday.
The Environment Ministry announced the progress made so far in getting rid of rubble in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. It is the ministry’s first such announcement.
The amount of rubble created by the twin natural disasters is estimated at 22.528 million tons in the three prefectures. Of that, only 1.176 million tons, or 5%, had been disposed of permanently as of Feb. 20, after being moved to temporary sites. The government has said it aims to dispose of all the rubble by March 2014.
But Environment Minister Goshi Hosono acknowledged at a press conference Tuesday that will be difficult to reach that target due to the slow progress.
In Iwate Prefecture, the rubble amounts to about 11 years of waste generated in normal times. The comparable figure for Miyagi Prefecture is about 19 years.
The two prefectures are moving ahead with plans to dispose of part of the rubble in other prefectures.