NHK has learned that only 17 percent of levees planned along the Pacific coast of eastern Japan have been completed, and that work hasn’t begun on 57 percent of them.
The central and local governments plan to build levees totaling about 410 kilometers along the Pacific coast from Aomori to Chiba prefectures, which suffered tsunami damage in March 2011.
Of the 574 planned levees, 99 were completed as of the end of August, but 330 were still in the planning stage.
In the hardest-hit prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima, only 4 percent of the planned levees were completed and 67 percent had yet to be started.
Most of the planned new levees are higher than previous ones in anticipation of massive tsunami that strike once every several decades or centuries.
The central and local governments are having trouble winning the approval of local residents, many of whom are opposed to such high levees, saying they are unsightly and would hamper coastal jobs.