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Japanese politics shaky over reconstruction

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Japanese politics shaky over reconstruction


Japan’s government continues to be shaken by reconstruction criticism. With pressure on Prime Minister Naoto Kan to quit, he has created two new ministry posts. Goshi Hosono has been made minister in charge of the shattered Fukushima nuclear plant. Ryu Matsumoto is now minister in charge of reconstruction.

The prime minister’s handling of the nuclear crisis and slow progress in helping victims of the country’s disasters have hurt his popularity with voters and within his own party. The enormous tasks in stricken communities puts a great strain on national resources.

In the small northern fishing town of Minamisanriku, three months after it was flattened by the earthquake and tsunami, many people say the rebuilding is too slow.

A 92-year-old resident said “the debris hasn’t been cleaned up at all, nor will it be any time soon. I wonder if it will be any different by August.”

Another woman, 46, asked “How long will it take for us to get our town back, get everything back: supermarkets, hospitals, the town hall? I have no idea. Probably decades.”

The disaster in this one town left some 1,200 people dead or missing. More than four thousand are in temporary shelter. Almost every business and job was swept away.

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