Iwate prefecture now needs to figure out how to get rid of 5.3 million tons of debris resulted from the wide-spread damage of the Tohoku Earthquake. The current estimate is about 1 million tons more than before. Because of the sheer mass of the debris, Iwate Prefectural Government will most likely struggle to find other local governments that are willing to carry the burden.
Iwate Prefectural Government announced last August the total amount of debris to be 4.35 million tons. The clean up process, however, has taken much longer than planned. The local government’s recent measurement revealed that the debris contained much more earth and sand as well as seawater-damaged soil than the last year’s measurement. Most of debris cannot be incinerated, so they estimate the process will take longer and cost more than the original estimation.
Even though it has been more than one year from the devastating earthquake, the reconstruction process still continues–often with much struggle and challenges. Iwate prefecture is not the only one to face this problem. Other damaged prefectures such as Miyagi and Fukushima. In spite of the heartfelt call to “unite Japan” and encourage victims with the refrain “Ganbare Nippon,” the reality of accepting debris from these prefectures have been much less enthusiastic. Some prefecture and local politicians have stood up to face the challenge, but they are by no means the norm.