8 Years On: Support for Disaster-Hit Small Biz Urgently Needed

Society Lifestyle Economy

Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Far-reaching support is urgently needed for small businesses affected by the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami, the head of a government-established assistance body has said.

Businesses in disaster areas "are starting to shut because they have no future prospects," said Takao Matsuzaki, president of the Corporation for Revitalizing Earthquake-Affected Business.

"The number of bankruptcies may grow," he went on, explaining the bleak situation mainly in northeastern Japan coastal areas devastated by the tsunami and affected by the subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

About eight years since the triple disaster, the surge in demand tied to reconstruction has run its course. In coastal areas of Iwate and Miyagi northeastern prefectures, population levels have not recovered.

"Local business operators, such as bakeries and barbershops, remain in a tough situation," Matsuzaki said in a recent interview.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press