Japan’s Cabinet approved Tuesday a bill that will extend the life of the government agency tasked with overseeing reconstruction in areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami until 2031, a decade longer than initially planned.
With the extension, the government said it will make further efforts to reconstruct areas of Fukushima that are still recovering from the nuclear disaster. The Reconstruction Agency, set up about a year after the triple quake, tsunami, nuclear disaster, was initially due to shutter in March 2021.
Under its basic policy on reconstruction, approved by the Cabinet in late December, the government expects an additional cost of about 1.5 trillion yen ($14 billion) to complete recovery efforts in the areas in the prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi in northeastern Japan in the five fiscal years through March 2026.
The agency will continue to be headed by a full-time minister. The special budget for rebuilding, which is separate from the general account, will be maintained, but tax breaks and other preferential treatment will be limited to areas still recovering from major damage sustained in the disaster.