Japan Prime Minister Kishida intends to designate Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula Earthquake as extreme disaster (Update 1)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida unveiled a plan on Monday to designate the Noto Peninsula Earthquake as a disaster of extreme severity. The decision was made at the Prime Minister’s Office during a meeting of the government’s headquarters for urgent measures to cope with the quake.

With such a designation, the percentage of financial aid to be shouldered by the central government increases for work such as restoring roads and farmland, thus lowering the financial burden of local governments affected by the disaster.

Kishida instructed relevant ministries and agencies to “carry out procedures for a Cabinet approval.”

On the same day, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara told reporters at the Defense Ministry that he raised the number of Self-Defense Forces personnel dispatched to the disaster-hit areas by 200 to about 6,100.

The SDF personnel have engaged in search, rescue and various relief missions in the areas devastated by the earthquake, which registered the maximum 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.