Suga Puts Reconstruction from 2011 Quake High on Agenda

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stressed Friday that reconstruction efforts in areas affected by the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami are one of the top priority issues for his government.

"I want all cabinet members to think they are reconstruction ministers," Suga told a reconstruction promotion conference of all ministers, urging them to work all out, overcoming red tape and the practice of respecting precedents.

At the conference, which met for the first time since the former chief cabinet secretary replaced Shinzo Abe as prime minister earlier this month, Suga also said he will visit Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday for a firsthand view.

Fukushima is one of the northeastern Japan prefectures hit hardest by the natural disaster and also suffered triple reactor meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Following progress in large-scale infrastructure projects in the affected areas, the Reconstruction Agency will put more emphasis on other programs such as activities to help people recover their well-being and industrial promotion in the second-phase reconstruction period from next April.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press