Tsunami rebuilding funds 'spent on whaling'
Wednesday 31 October 2012
A quarter of the £92bn budget for reconstruction after the tsunami and nuclear disaster in north-east Japan has been spent on unrelated projects, including a contact lens factory and whaling.
The findings of a government audit reinforce complaints over shortcomings and delays in the reconstruction effort. More than half the budget is yet to be distributed, stalled by indecision and bureaucracy, while nearly all of the 340,000 people evacuated from the disaster zone remain uncertain whether, when and how they will resettle.
Many of the non-reconstruction projects were included on the pretext they might contribute to Japan's economic revival, a strategy that the government now acknowledges was a mistake.
"It is true that the government has not done enough and has not done it adequately. We must listen to those who say the reconstruction should be the first priority," the Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, told parliament. He vowed that unrelated projects will be "strictly wrung out" of the budget.
But ensuring that funds go to their intended purpose might require a change in the reconstruction spending law, which allows money to be used on "employment measures" and for other ambiguous purposes.
Among projects to receive money are road building in distant Okinawa; prison vocational training; subsidies for a contact lens factory in central Japan; renovation of government offices in Tokyo; aircraft and fighter pilot training; production of rare earth minerals; a semiconductor research project; and even whaling, ostensibly for research, according to data from the government audit.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...