Government leaders in Japan plan to build 100,000 temporary homes to house survivors of last month’s twin natural disaster. About 150,000 people are still living out of shelters since being displaced by an earthquake, tsunami or nuclear crisis.
The price tag for that will run $50 billion, pushing the estimated total cost of damage to $309 billion and rising.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan talking to reporters following his conversations with survivors at several shelters said, “I felt with renewed determination that we must do our best to get them back as soon as possible.”
The plan is to construct at least 30,000 homes by the end of May.
The $50 billion approved by the Cabinet will come in cycles with reconstruction, road repair and clearing rubble leading the way. Parliament still needs to approve the expenditure.
Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the Associated Press, “This is the first step toward rebuilding Japan after the major disasters.”
The billion pound elephant still in Japan is the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear plant, which has been leaking radiation into the soil and water since it was nearly destroyed on March 11.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which operates the plant has a plan to regain control of Fukushima in six to nine months. TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu recently toured a shelter, where his presence was not welcome.
One victim told Shimizu to “take your nuclear energy back to Tokyo with you.” And another told him, “we’re angry, angry, angry.”
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