Govt. to boost financial support for public housing in quake-hit Noto region

The Japanese government plans to provide more financial assistance for public housing projects in areas in central Japan that were hit by the massive earthquake on January 1.

The Noto Peninsula earthquake, which struck Ishikawa Prefecture, was designated as a "disaster of extreme severity" last month.

The designation has enabled the government to increase state subsidies aimed at restoring public facilities and farmland. It has also made it easier for small and medium size businesses to get credit.

On Friday, the government decided to provide additional assistance after it was determined that the number of completely destroyed or severely damaged homes exceeded the threshold required to take further measures.

State subsidies for municipalities to build public housing will be provided for 50 percent of the number of destroyed homes instead of the current 30 percent. The subsidy rates will be raised to cover three-quarters of the construction costs. The current subsidies cover two-thirds of the expenses.

Disaster Management Minister Matsumura Yoshifumi said he wants municipalities to use the subsidies to help the affected people secure permanent housing.

The new measures will take effect on February 15.