Visit to Niigata Prefecture to Observe the State of Damage from the Large-Scale Fire in Itoigawa City
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Niigata Prefecture to observe the state of damage caused by the large-scale fire that occurred in Itoigawa City on December 22, 2016.
After observing the area affected by the fire, the Prime Minister exchanged views with people affected by the fire; Mr. Ryuichi Yoneyama, Governor of Niigata Prefecture; Mr. Toru Yoneda, Mayor of Itoigawa City; and others, at the Itoigawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Itoigawa City Hall.
After conducting the observation, the Prime Minister said,
“First, I would like to express my sincere sympathy to everyone affected by this disaster.
Earlier I observed the state of damage in the affected area with the Governor of Niigata Prefecture, the Mayor of Itoigawa City, and others. This town has a long and proud history, and important buildings, the histories of individual families, as well as centers of people’s livelihoods and daily lives, have all been reduced to ashes by the fire. I have reaffirmed the gravity of the situation.
With the stance of doing everything that can be done, the Government has decided that the Act on Support for Reconstructing Livelihoods of Disaster Victims will be applied to a fire for the first time. Furthermore, we are doing everything we can to provide funds for maintaining business operations and support for the removal of debris. At the same time, earlier I heard requests from people affected by the disaster, which included the view that they would like to make Itoigawa an even livelier and better town than it was before the disaster. I wholeheartedly agree. The Government, Niigata Prefecture, and Itoigawa City, working as one, have launched the Itoigawa Reconstruction Promotion Council, so that the people can move forward with the dream and hope of developing Itoigawa into an even livelier and better town than it was before the disaster.
I would like to collect the views of the residents and those affected by the fire, as well as of the local administrations, and reflect them in the plans for the town. Moreover, in order to provide the fullest possible support, we will mobilize national government personnel who are knowledgeable about post-disaster reconstruction and town planning. The Government will do everything that can be done and work together with you to advance the town planning. Thank you.”