Tokyo, April 20 (Jiji Press)–Nearly 40 pct of tsunami-hit farmland in six prefectures along Japan’s Pacific coastline will be restored by the start of rice planting in May, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Friday.
Across the six eastern prefectures–Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba–a total of 21,476 hectares of farmland was inundated by the massive tsunami triggered by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 last year.
Work to remove salt from 8,310 hectares will be completed before the rice planting season starts, the ministry said.
Among the three prefectures hit hardest in the disaster, Iwate will have 230 hectares available for farming, or some 32 pct of the total affected area, Miyagi 6,670 hectares, or 47 pct, and Fukushima 460 hectares, or 8 pct.
The percentage was particularly low for Fukushima because 2,120 hectares of its total 5,460 hectares of farmland damaged by the tsunami is located in the no-go zone or evacuation advisory areas near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant.