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Tuesday, 2nd April 2013
In General Japan News,

Ceremony for housing project in Miyagi but many projects remain unfinished

Miyagi Prefecture was particularly hard hit by Japan's 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami so it was arguably even more important that reconstruction of the area should be marked with a ceremony such as that held on Monday April 1st.

The event marked the construction of the first public housing units built since the disaster. During the event, the Mayor of Yamamoto, Toshio Saito, gave the keys of the property to nine separate households who had lost their homes.

When the project is completed - which is currently predicted to be March 2016 - the government plans to have built 16,000 houses for residents of the town destroyed by the natural disaster.

While this is one of the positive stories to come out of the tsunami, there are plenty of tales of unfinished projects, and some which have failed to begin at all.

The Japan Daily Press recently reported on the case of the schools destroyed by the tsunami in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate prefectures. Despite plans to rebuild the institutions and a promise from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to fund the entire project, work is yet to get underway.

A senior ministry official was quoted by the publication as saying that "though progress has been made in repairing damaged school buildings gaining a consensus on topics such as the formation of new townships means it will take time to construct new school buildings. At least a year or two is needed".

In addition to delays to projects, there is concern that some areas worst hit by the tsunami are not worth rebuilding as they remain uninhabitable, or at very least people are reluctant to return to them.

Recent images taken by Google Street View illustrate the level of destruction caused by the event.

Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie - a town abandoned after the disaster - suggested that the images should serve as a reminder of the devastation wrought by the natural disaster.

"We want this Street View imagery to become a permanent record of what happened in  Naime-machi in the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster."

Related news stories:
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony (18th September 2014)
Tsunami victims remembered during Coming-of-Age ceremony (15th January 2013)