Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery planning
Based on the recommendations of Japan’s Reconstruction Design Council, the national government issued the Basic Act for Reconstruction and the Basic Guidelines for Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Agency, which the prime minister heads, was established under the oversight of the cabinet to promote and coordinate reconstruction policies and measures in an integrated manner.
Special reconstruction zones will be identified based on proposals by local governments in the disaster-affected areas, where concessions and incentives (regulatory, fiscal, budgetary, and financial) will be granted to companies that set up new facilities.
In the areas affected by the GEJE, consultations between governments and communities were the rule, and community representatives were invited to serve alongside experts on recovery planning committees from the earliest stages. The most common ways of collecting residents’ opinions were surveys and workshops. The central government and local governments outside the disaster-affected area helped affected municipalities plan their recovery by conducting research, seconding staff, and hiring professionals to provide technical support. University faculty members, architects, engineers, lawyers, and members of NGOs participated in the municipal planning process.
There is an urgent need to dispose of 20 million tons of debris left behind by the GEJE and tsunami, some of it contaminated by radioactivity. The debris was an enormous obstacle to rescue and it still impedes reconstruction. The amount of tsunami-related debris in Iwate was 11 times greater than a normal year’s waste. In Miyagi, it was 19 times greater. To hasten recovery, local governments across Japan worked together to remove debris.
Maintaining existing sources of income and creating jobs are crucial during the reconstruction phase. When reconstruction is delayed, income normally generated by neighborhood shops or restaurants will be lost. Under the “Japan as One” work project, local governments in priority areas can avail themselves of job-creation funds. The town of Minami-sanriku, for example, received financial support for fiscal year 2011. As of January 2012 it had undertaken 47 job-creation projects employing 460 people.
Download the 5 Knowledge Notes on Recovery Planning:
Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery Planning, Note 4-1
Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery Planning, Note 4-2
Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery Planning, Note 4-3
Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery Planning, Note 4-4
Knowledge Notes, Cluster 4: Recovery Planning, Note 4-5