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.
The Reconstruction Agency announced on March 28 that it has effectively secured land to build 3,741 homes in the first phase of a public housing project for people affected by the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Of the total of 4,890 homes to be constructed in the project, land for the remaining 1,149 units in the second phase is expected to be secured by September, the agency said. The Fukushima prefectural government, which is in charge of implementing the housing project, will address problems in the bidding process, including unsuccessful tenders, and plans to complete building all units by September 2016.
In the disaster-related public housing project, the prefectural government selects sites for homes, which will be built using community revival subsidies provided by the agency to finance the project. The local government has already filed applications to build 2,591 houses and secured corresponding subsidies from the agency. By March 28, it had agreed with landowners of housing sites to build another 1,150 units and filed additional applications for a combined total of 3,741 units.
As for the 1,149 houses for the second phase, the prefectural government is set to agree shortly on deals with landowners in Fukushima and Iwaki cities over sites to accommodate 190 units. It is speeding up work to select sites for the remaining 959 units, and hopes to be able to secure necessary land by September.
Plans to build new public apartments for the nuclear refugees in Fukushima Prefecture are stalling because the prefectural government is struggling to attract bids from contractors.
On Jan. 31, Fukushima announced that a project for a 16-unit concrete apartment complex in the city of Aizuwakamatsu in the western part of the prefecture failed to attract bidders. It failed because the eight private contractors who participated didn’t make offers that matched the prefecture’s budget amid surging demand for labor and materials in disaster-hit Tohoku.
It was Fukushima’s second public housing project to attract bids. Last August, an offer for a 20-unit apartment block in the city of Koriyama also failed twice. The prefecture finally found a contractor after raising the initial price twice.
Efforts to acquire land for new apartments are also stalling as negotiations with landowners are taking longer than expected. Of the 3,700 units scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, only 60 percent, or 2,360, were ready to be built, unhindered by land acquisition problems.
Because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that unfolded in March 2011, six towns and villages that had to be evacuated — Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Katsurao and Iitate — plan to build “out-of-town” communities where reinforced public apartments play a central role. The prefecture plans to build 4,890 units to house people from these and 13 other municipalities.
The prefecture has not come up with good ideas to expedite public housing, and the evacuees are facing the very real possibility they could be in temporary lodging for years to come. The fastest project to be completed so far is the 20-unit complex in Koriyama, which won’t start accepting residents until October.
When the evacuees move in, the prefectural government plans to let groups of residents who formed close ties in the shelters occupy neighboring units at the new apartments so those relationships can be preserved.
This is a lesson learned from the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, when the shift to permanent public housing severed bonds the evacuees had formed in its aftermath, leaving them socially isolated and leading to a surge in solitary deaths.
Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)–The Reconstruction Agency said Friday that it will grant Fukushima Prefecture and two municipalities there 7,634 million yen in subsidies for housing for evacuees from the March 2011 nuclear accident in the northeastern Japan prefecture.
In the second allocation of such state subsidies, the prefecture as well as the town of Kori and the village of Kawauchi will receive the money for construction of public housing and parking lots for the long-term evacuees.
The Fukushima prefectural government plans to build 3,700 public housing units in total by fiscal 2015 for evacuees from the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. It will use the coming funds to acquire land lots for 563 units in the cities of Minamisoma and Iwaki.
The subsidy program was created in the current fiscal year to March, with 50.3 billion yen in the pipeline. By the end of December, the agency plans to invite applications for the third allocation.
TOKYO (Kyodo) — A senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party stressed the need Sunday to secure fiscal resources for continued reconstruction of areas hit by the March 2011 disasters if a special corporate tax surcharge to fund rehabilitation projects is ended a year early.
“The LDP is worried about whether it will be possible to secure financial resources for reconstruction,” Shigeru Ishiba, LDP secretary general, said on a Fuji Television Network program. “It is necessary to make efforts to secure resources in a convincing way.”
The government plan to bring forward the end of the surcharge is aimed at decreasing the tax burden on the corporate sector prior to the planned sales tax hike next April to 8 percent from 5 percent. The proposal, however, has met resistance from ruling party lawmakers worried about the impact on reconstruction.
Ishiba also indicated that companies should make it clear how they will use the money to be generated by the tax reduction, apparently urging them to allocate it for wage hikes and capital investment.
September 29, 2013(Mainichi Japan)