Efforts for Reconstruction of TohokuAfter the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the Japanese Government promptly formulated budgets, modified laws and orders, and established “Reconstruction Agency,” in 2012. A timeframe for reconstruction was set to be 10 years, of which the first 5 years (2011-2015) were set as a “Concentrated Reconstruction Period,” and ¥25 trillion (approx. $250 billion) were allocated for the period. The latter 5 years (2016~2020) are designated as “Reconstruction and Revitalization Period” and ¥6.5 trillion (approx. $65 billion) are allocated.
Most of the infrastructure in the areas affected by the earthquake has been recovered. Housing reconstruction is in progress. The number of evacuees decreased from over 470,000 to about 150,000. Reconstruction Agency works also on reviving industry and livelihoods as well as providing health and living support. (Please refer to “Progress to Date” for further information.)
Compared to Miyagi and Iwate, the reconstruction of Fukushima will take longer time. However, there are also signs of positive developments there. As the level of radiation reduces naturally and due to decontamination, the evacuation order which was issued after the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Plant has been lifted for Tamura City (April, 2014), Kawauchi Village (October, 2014 and June, 2016), Naraha Town (September, 2015), a part of Katsurao Village (June, 2016), and a part of Minamisoma City (July, 2016). (Please refer to METI website for Assistance of Residents Affected by the Nuclear Incidents.)
The Government is making every effort to provide accurate information about the current situation in the Tohoku region including the eventual risks of radiation so that people can safely enjoy agricultural products and visit the region. The Government of Japan ensures food safety by thorough inspection for radioactive materials based on the most stringent reference value in the world, and only those products which have passed them reach domestic and international markets. With regards to the rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture, for example, all the products are tested for the contamination of radioactive materials, and 100% of those produced in 2014 proved to contain the amount which is less than the standard value. All of marine products of Fukushima Prefecture which are distributed on the market contain less radioactive materials than the standard value.(Please refer to MAFF and FA website for food safety information.)
(Updated August, 2016)