Houses Slowly Demolished with Public Funding After Noto Earthquake; Only 0.6% Removed After Five Months

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A house is demolished using public funding in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Friday.

KANAZAWA – The removal of buildings damaged by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake has not progressed, hindering the recovery efforts of residents five months after the disaster.

In Ishikawa Prefecture, where more than 24,000 homes were damaged by the quake, just 95 buildings, accounting for 0.6% of all applications had been demolished using public funds as of Wednesday.

The government has been working hard to promote the publicly funded demolition system.

According to the Environment Ministry and other organizations, there were applications for 16,240 houses, 95 of which had been demolished using the system as of Wednesday.

In some cases, demolition has been carried out without waiting for an application, and in other cases, residents have temporarily paid the costs for the demolition, but even including these cases, only 383 houses have been demolished in the prefecture so far.

In Wajima, 4,610 applications have been submitted, along with 3,359 in Suzu.

By the end of October 2025, 22 months after the earthquake, the prefectural government expects to have demolished about 22,500 houses.

The need to obtain demolition consent from homeowners had been a major stumbling block for applications. However, the government announced Tuesday that such damaged houses can be demolished with public funding at the discretion of the local government without requiring the consent from all associated homeowners.

Additionally, due to the lack of accommodation facilities on the northern tip of the Noto Peninsula, which was severely damaged by the quake, many demolition workers are forced to commute to work from distant areas, including Kanazawa.

“There could be a large gap between the number of demolition applications and the number of houses needing to be demolished,” said an official from the Suzu municipal government.

In the aftermath of the Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016, about 35,000 houses were demolished using public funding. As of September that year, the rate of houses demolished using public funding was 12%, and demolition was completed in about 2.5 years.