10 Years On: 76 Pct of Mayors See Virus Impact on Reconstruction

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)--A Jiji Press survey has found that 76 pct of the mayors of 42 municipalities hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami say the coronavirus epidemic is affecting postdisaster reconstruction efforts.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to restrictions on the movement of people, causing delays in reconstruction work and dragging down the tourism industry.

Of the 42 mayors, 32 recognized such impacts, while six, or 14 pct, did not. Four mayors, or 10 pct, replied that they cannot say either.

In the "yes" camp, Masanori Yamamoto, mayor of Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, said the epidemic "has dealt a further blow to the (local) economy still recovering from the March 2011 disaster and typhoon disasters of recent years."

The epidemic "has caused delays in construction work due to restrictions on the movement of people and disruptions to the distribution of materials," said Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba also in Iwate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press