Japan govt. to provide $330 mil. for reconstruction fund of quake-hit Ishikawa

The Japanese government has decided to provide more than 300 million dollars in financial aid to help Ishikawa Prefecture recover from severe damage caused by the New Year's Day earthquake.

The government made the decision on Friday at a taskforce meeting on the Noto Peninsula earthquake. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Disaster Management Minister Matsumura Yoshifumi attended the meeting.

The officials decided to provide 52 billion yen, or about 330 million dollars, to a reconstruction fund to be set up by Ishikawa Prefecture. The money will come from tax revenues allocated for local governments' special needs.

The fund is expected to be used to flexibly carry out necessary projects such as housing reconstruction and infrastructure restoration in the prefecture.

The officials also agreed to provide the same type of funds for Niigata and Toyama prefectures to ramp up support. The two prefectures suffered damage from liquefaction as a result of the quake.

Kishida said the officials finalized the level of support for Ishikawa after considering the situation in six cities and towns on the Noto Peninsula that suffered particularly serious damage.

He said the municipalities have a high rate of aging among the population and low financial power. He added that the government will work hard to return affected people to their homes, recover their jobs and promote creative reconstruction.

Officials also confirmed a plan to simplify procedures to allow the demolition of collapsed houses to be carried out by one individual's application without the consent of all owners. They say the measure will promote a smoother process in demolition works using public funds.