Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today in a video message uploaded in the official YouTube channel of the premier’s office that his resolve to speed up rebuilding infrastructures is unwavering. The video was posted ahead of a ceremony later in the day to be hosted by the government in commemoration of the second anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters, which subsequently caused the nuclear core meltdowns of three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
“The government will listen to the local voices and work as one,” Abe said. “Unless spring comes to Tohoku, real spring cannot come to Japan.” He has visited the heavily hit prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate since coming into power in December. And as he has done so in the past, Abe also called for support in the video, asking viewers to provide donations or volunteer in the area or just visit the place and purchase their products.
Abe heavily criticized the previous administration, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, because of the slow progress in the reconstructions. As soon as he returned to power, he implemented new measures that would help the revival of the areas, including the increased allocation of 25 trillion yen as reconstruction budget. He also made it easier for disaster-hit municipalities to utilize state subsidies, as well as compile measures that would quicken the return of the evacuees to their homes.