13 Avril 2017
April 13, 2017
Firms give up inroads to 2011 disaster areas
Japan's Board of Audit has found that nearly half of the firms that were granted state subsidies in exchange for making inroads into areas hit by the 2011 disaster have given up their efforts.
The Japanese government earmarked up to nearly 46 million dollars in subsidies to companies that will be building factories and other facilities in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.
They were worst-hit by the earthquake and tsunami 6 years ago. Fukushima also suffered the after-effects of a nuclear disaster.
The scheme seeks to create jobs for local residents.
The Board of Audit studied the situation as of March 2016. It learned that 232 firms, accounting for 45 percent of the companies that were granted subsidies, had ultimately backed off from their plan.
Officials say in many cases, the firms were unable to secure land or a workforce due to the slow pace of recovery.
In tsunami-hit cities, including Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, and Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, more than 70 percent of the firms declined the offer.
As a result, the opportunity to create more than 2,700 jobs has gone unrealized.
Industry ministry officials who are in charge of the subsidy program have expressed disappointment.
They say they will examine the plans of firms that apply for grants more carefully to make sure the money will not go unspent.