Members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) search for survivors in a house damaged by a landslide in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, on Sept 6. Photo: Japan Self-Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS
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Disaster recovery debts in Japan proving tough to service

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All of these natural disasters are either really good or really bad for the insurance industry because it can mean a lot of new customers or just a lot of payouts.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"My back aches and it's hard to work, but I won't be able to repay unless I work," said a 70-year-old man in the Miyagi Prefecture capital of Sendai, whose repayments are scheduled to start in December.

70 years old, working at a job that pays 880 per hour, to make money to live, and is expected to repay loans as well?

Literally retire the debt, and let him retire too! In peace!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The disaster fund's reserves are supposed to be maintained and grown through investments

Grown through investments......is this supposed to be a joke or what? A Japanese government entity looking to MAKE money through investing?

Their fastest answer to this is to "grow" more tax money into the fund! That's their idea of "grown through investments".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The disaster fund's reserves are supposed to be maintained and grown through investments, but in recent years money has been drawn from the principal, meaning the 100 billion yen it had as of the end of fiscal 2011 reduced to a low of 48.2 billion yen by the end of fiscal 2017.

So, this article should not be about the cost of these natural disasters. It should be about the mismanagement of the funds allotted for natural disasters. I’m sure everybody remembers them taking funds from the tohoku rebuild to pay for sending coast guard ships to the Antarctic for their farcical whale research.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Don’t forget the Fukushima nuclear disaster which has all residents on the hook for...wait for it.....600 billion USD. Or, 60,000,000,000,000 yen. Yes trillions. Tell us more about cheap nuclear power.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It's all just BS digitally invented or printed money anyway

4 ( +5 / -1 )

With landslides onto paddy fields, you can end up with astronomical amounts to repair single fields that net their owners very little when farmed. This is a poor use of taxpayer money. It would be wiser to accept that the landscape has changed and pay the farmer a bit of compensation. 90% of rice growers are part-timers whose main income lies elsewhere.

The loans of "up to 3.5 million yen" sound like emergency support for dislocated people. They are not for rebuilding. The government loans offered for rebuilding are much higher, but are not easy to qualify for and take ages to process. Anyone who qualifies probably qualifies for a regular bank loan anyway.

If the government did not waste money rebulldozing paddy fields and reconcreting river banks post disasters, there would be more money for ordinary people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Hokkaido govt has faced squarely the reality of the tragic disaster, and put restoring the infrastructure and peoples welfare at the forefront. It will be a very hard task, but never-the-less they appear committed to the ordinary citizens. Cancelling the Olympic bid to divert resources to where they are most needed, is truly commendable.

Abe Inc on the other other, believe squeezing the ordinary citizens through loans etc, stalling on infrastructure re-build and diverting funds and construction work to the 2020 Olympic cause, will help alleviate the suffering of many.

One approach focusses on the plight of people, and one approach focusses on the plight of the govt.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Of course. We saw this coming. Guess what, lots more where this comes from. With climate change just now taking off we'll get many more disasters..soon. Be ready!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It really has been a tough year for Japan. The next three months can’t go by fast enough.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe stop spending on new missile systems?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Bitcoin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese people like to own houses. Renting housings will help the problem.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The disaster fund's reserves are supposed to be maintained and grown through investments

Grown through investments......is this supposed to be a joke or what? A Japanese government entity looking to MAKE money through investing?

Didnt the Japanese RedCtoss put all the Fukushima donations into a fund investing in Vietnam rather than give it to the needy in the disaster areas?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With landslides onto paddy fields, you can end up with astronomical amounts to repair single fields that net their owners very little when farmed. This is a poor use of taxpayer money. It would be wiser to accept that the landscape has changed and pay the farmer a bit of compensation. 90% of rice growers are part-timers whose main income lies elsewhere.

I tend to agree with this. Spending 10s of billions of Yen to repair roads and rice fields ina town of 4600 is not an efficient use of resources, especially if, as I am cautiously assuming to be the case, the town is like every other farming town in this country and slowly undergoing a demographic collapse that will probably see it abandoned by the end of this century anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry folks, military comes first.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is it not normal for householders in Japan to have buildings insurance? Here it is the norm but it may not be in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe Japan should not buy expensive military hardware and take care of their citizens, what’s more important?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 Is it not normal for householders in Japan to have buildings insurance? Here it is the norm but it may not be in Japan?

That isthenirm here too. But that insurance doesn’t cover the costs of stuff like rebuilding the road to you home, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rainy day, thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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