Eight agricultural cooperatives in the three Tohoku prefectures that were hit hardest by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami now plan to repay in full ¥50 billion in bailout funds injected by the government and Norinchukin Bank after the disaster, informed sources said Saturday.
The cooperatives in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures will be able to start the repayment next month thanks to progress in their management reconstruction 4½ years on, the sources said.
Four months after the disaster, the government created a legal framework to enable struggling agricultural and fishery cooperatives in afflicted areas to receive capital injections under the preferred equity investment method without clarifying their management responsibilities and setting earnings targets.
In February-March 2012, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Financial Services Agency approved fund injection requests from the most heavily damaged cooperatives while asking them to draw up management plans for four years through fiscal 2015.
If the farm organizations decided to remain recipients of funds from the government and Norinchukin, the central bank for agricultural cooperatives, they should have presented new management plans, the sources pointed out.