Govt to Build Temporary Studio for Wajima Lacquerware, Kishida Says on Visit to Noto

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visits the Wajima Morning Market Street in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday.

WAJIMA, Ishikawa — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday visited Wajima and Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, to inspect the areas, which were hit by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake.

On his second visit to the disaster-stricken areas, Kishida revealed a plan to open this April a temporary work studio for Wajima lacquerware, a traditional craft of Wajima, with the costs fully covered by the government.

Kishida also announced that the government will introduce new subsidies of up to ¥3 million per household for those affected by the disaster and will soon approve the disbursement of about ¥100 billion from the fiscal 2023 budget reserve funds, including for the subsidies.

“Traditional crafts are a source of great pride for the Japanese people, and the government will firmly support them,” Kishida said during talks with Wajima lacquer craftspeople in the city. He also expressed his intention to set up a temporary studio on the premises of the Wajima Lacquer Art Museum for artists to work in until the full restoration of the area.

Under the envisaged subsidies program, the government will provide up to ¥2 million for reconstruction of partially destroyed homes and up to ¥1 million for the purchase of household goods and cars, targeting households with elderly or disabled persons as well as those receiving a child-rearing allowance.

“We want to cover a wide range of households, including young people and families raising young children, as well as those who have difficulty borrowing funds or repaying loans,” Kishida told reporters after the inspection.

During the visit, Kishida stopped at an evacuation center in Anamizu, where he encouraged people affected by the disaster and volunteers, and also the Wajima Morning Market Street, where a large fire broke out following the Jan. 1 earthquake.