The whole of Japan is responsible to get involved in the reconstruction of the country, said prime minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday, adding that areas from outside the disaster zone should stand up and take in rubble, to help dispose of the millions of tones of debris left by the March 2011 quake and tsunami.
“Today is a day of mourning as well as a day to renew our resolve to rebuild,” he said to reporters. “I urge the entire public to recognize that we are all directly involved in reconstruction.”
“The world lavished praise on the spirit of the Japanese for helping one another in the aftermath of the disaster,” Noda said. “That Japanese psyche is being tested again. The processing of debris is a symbol of that.”
The three prefectures that were worst hit, Iwate, Myiagi and Fukushima, have been dealing with the largest quantities of rubble – more than 22 million tones in total, of which only six percent have been disposed of. Not being able to dispose of the rubble means that rebuilding efforts are delayed in the region.
Tokyo and Yamagata prefectures are some of the few who accepted to take in soil from the affected areas. Many other prefectures did not help, as local residents expressed fears of radioactive contamination risks.