The Prime Minister Visits Fukushima Prefecture
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Fukushima Prefecture from February 28 to March 1 to gauge the progress of the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
On February 28, in Koriyama City, the Prime Minister visited public housing for disaster-stricken households and had an exchange of opinions with residents.
Afterwards, in Motomiya City, the Prime Minister visited a children’s facility, Smile Kids Park, together with H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge of the United Kingdom (Prince William) who was visiting Japan. Following that, Prime Minister Abe held a welcome banquet for H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge in Koriyama City.
On March 1, the Prime Minister first attended the opening ceremony of the Joban Expressway. Following that, he observed the planned construction site for interim storage facilities from the roof of the Futaba Town Office.
Afterwards, the Prime Minister attended the graduation ceremony for a prefectural high school held in the Minamisoma City Sports Center.
After the visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Although the process of rebuilding Fukushima has been gradual, I have a sense that it is entering a new stage. Today, we fully reopened the Joban Expressway. I hope that people from across the country and the world will visit Fukushima for work and pleasure.
Additionally, I have instructed the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to consider the opening of the JR Joban Line. Furthermore, I have submitted legislation to the Diet to establish subsidies and laws toward the development of reconstruction hubs to encourage the return of residents. I will work towards the early passage of this legislation.
The people of this region have decided to accept the storage of soil collected through decontamination in interim storage facilities. I again want to offer my gratitude for this. Storage will begin in the middle of this month. Starting with land holders, I want to carefully proceed forward while taking the feelings of people about their hometowns seriously, and etch those feelings into our minds.
A little while ago, I took part in a graduation ceremony on the spur of the moment for students who spent their three years of high school in a temporary school, and I said a few words while I was there. Those children truly are the hope of Fukushima. I want all of them to work hard toward each of their career paths.”
In addition, with respect to problems regarding politics and money, the Prime Minister stated,
“Regarding the problem of political funding, I think it is natural that politicians must fulfil their responsibility to thoroughly explain this issue – whether they are in the Cabinet, part of the ruling parties, or part of the opposition parties. At the same time, there is no room for delays when managing the administration. I want to do my utmost when working on this issue in order to thoroughly advance policy.”