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Disaster-hit Tohoku areas to be asked to partially shoulder recovery costs from ’16, japan times, 4/24/2015

The central government plans to ask disaster-hit municipalities in the Tohoku region to bear some of the costs of reconstruction starting in fiscal 2016, sources said.

Local governments will be asked to partially shoulder expenses for projects not closely linked to the recovery from 3/11, such as road improvements in inland areas.

The Reconstruction Agency said the local burden will be limited, and the plan will pave the way for areas damaged by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns to become financially self-reliant, the sources said Thursday. But the proposal will likely trigger a backlash from municipalities that want the state to continue shouldering the entire cost of reconstruction.

The central government aims to propose the fresh financing plan to the Tohoku municipalities as early as May and finalize the framework for it by the end of June.

Over a five-year period from fiscal 2016 beginning in April, the central government plans to continue shouldering all of the costs for core projects, including new housing for those who lost their homes, the relocation of collective housing to higher ground, recovery from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, and psychological care, the sources said Thursday.

For the five year period ending next March, the central government will have allocated at least ¥26.3 trillion ($219 billion) to reconstruction projects, covering all expenses to support the affected areas. The state has designated a 10-year span lasting through March 2021 as the recovery period for the calamity.

For the “latter term” of the 10-year period from April 2016, the hardest-hit prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima are expecting costs to reach ¥8.39 trillion. The central government assumes it will pay around ¥5 trillion.


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