Noto Airport to Reopen for Commercial Flights Saturday

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Noto Airport in Ishikawa Prefecture

TOKYO, Jan. 23 (Jiji Press) — Commercial flight operations using Noto Airport, in a central Japan region hit hard by the powerful New Year’s Day earthquake, will restart on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

Kishida unveiled the plan at a meeting of the government’s disaster response headquarters held at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo.

All Nippon Airways will offer one round-trip flight every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the time being to connect the airport in the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, according to the major Japanese airline.

Noto Airport “can be used to promote secondary evacuation and airlift relief supplies, as well as for the transport of personnel who will work on restoring infrastructure, constructing temporary housing and supporting disaster-afflicted people,” Kishida told the meeting, noting that its reopening is expected to speed up reconstruction work.

Kishida also instructed related ministers to facilitate secondary evacuation, support health management for evacuees staying at their homes and improve the environment for volunteer workers.

The prime minister also said that the government will compile a package of measures to help rebuild the livelihoods of affected people as early as Thursday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a press conference Tuesday that the package will also include measures to reconstruct the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, tackle misinformation over the disaster and bolster tourism demand.