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Ear to the Ground

Inquiry Finds Japanese Tsunami Funds ‘Misspent’

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Posted on Oct 31, 2012
jetalone (CC BY 2.0)

A building damaged by the tsunami.

A government audit showed Japanese authorities have used funds intended for reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on unrelated projects. Those paid for out of the $150 billion relief package include roads in Okinawa, advertisements for Japan’s tallest building and whaling research.

Roughly 19,000 people were killed or remain missing after the tsunami and an earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011. Some 325,000 people remain displaced 18 months later.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

BBC:

The government has passed a number of supplementary budgets to fund reconstruction efforts in affected areas.

But a government audit showed money had been used for unrelated projects reportedly included on the basis that they could boost national economic revival.

… Takashi Kubota, deputy mayor of Rikuzentakata, a fishing port where nearly half of the houses were destroyed, told the Associated Press news agency that “not one single new building yet” had been built in the destroyed downtown area.

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