Too Many People Still Waiting for Their Homes

The Reconstruction Agency of Japan presented its annual report on the reconstruction after Tohoku Earthquake to the national diet two months ago (Original report in Japanese here:kokkaihoukoku). Almost three years afther the disaster, while we see solid progresses in certain fields of reconstruction such as infrastructure, too many people are still not at their own homes.

Arahama seashore, Sendai, October 2013. The sign expresses the residents’ wish to come back and live here. (c)Tamiyo KONDO

The number of evacuees is now 282,000 (67 in evacuation centers, the rest in temporaly housings). This is 40,000 less than last year, yet still is about 60% of the number immediately after the disaster.

The related numbers are not too promising for the people waiting. Among 20 thousand special public housings that are planned to be built, 19% was completed. Among 332 neighborhoods that were apporved to be rellocated, only 4% completed the relocation. None of the planned land use readjustments is done. Only 15% of the disaster prevention measures for fishermen’s villages have been carried out.

In addition to the delay in construction of houses, works at seashores are also slow. 28% of ports are not back to work yet. Only 13% of the planned seashore disaster-prevention forests were made. Among other various measures planned for the disaster prevention near the sea, 13% has been completed.