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News Link • Japan - Earthquake Tsunami Radiation

Cash earmarked for Japan’s tsunami reconstruction ‘misspent’ ...

•, By Agence France-Presse

Cash earmarked for tsunami reconstruction work was diverted to unrelated projects, a Japanese government audit showed as residents of the devastated northeast voiced frustration over the slow pace of rebuilding.

Parts of the 14.9 trillion yen ($187 billion) were used to fund an array of unconnected works, including road-building on the southern island of Okinawa and handouts to help firms not based in the disaster zone, press reports have said.

They also included 8 billion yen for the purchase of rare earths, key components for high-tech products such as electric cars and smartphones, and 4.2 billion yen used to send disaster-prevention equipment to Southeast Asian countries.
 The March 2011 earthquake-triggered tsunami killed nearly 19,000 people in Japan’s worst peace-time disaster, which also left it grappling with a nuclear emergency at Fukushima.

Nearly 20 months on more than 300,000 people are still living in temporary homes, either because they have been unable to rebuild after the tsunami or because radiation levels around the nuclear plant mean it is unsafe to return.

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