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Press Conference by Minister Saito (Excerpt)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

Friday, January 26, 2024
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building


Opening Remarks

Response to the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake

At the beginning, I would like to mention one point.
A meeting of the Emergency Headquarters for the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake held yesterday determined the package of measures to support the lives and livelihoods of the people affected by the disaster, and the Cabinet meeting held earlier today made a Cabinet decision on relevant reserve funds.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will provide up to 1.5 billion yen for the rebuilding of the livelihoods of disaster-affected business operators in Ishikawa Prefecture and up to 300 million yen in the prefectures of Toyama, Fukui, and Niigata. Moreover, regarding business operators affected by multiple disasters, in addition to a subsidy scheme that enables fixed-amount livelihood subsidies, the ministry will provide for a program to support the rebuilding of disaster-affected shopping streets and related facilities, which will support the creation of flows of people through customer-attracting events as well as the restoration of arcades and streetlamps.
In addition, in order to keep traditional crafts alive into the future, the ministry will create a disaster support quota under the subsidy scheme to support traditional craft industries and provide up 10 million yen in subsidies so that tools and raw materials can be secured in preparation for an early business restart.
Moreover, support will also be provided for the restoration of facilities essential to the rebuilding of lives in the disaster-affected areas, including service stations, oil depots, and LP gas supply facilities.
Today, we will hold the second meeting of the headquarters on support for the disaster-affected SMEs and small businesses, and we will raise awareness about the adopted support measures by giving explanations directly to the local governments, commerce and industry organizations, and financial institutions in the disaster-affected areas.
Moreover, tomorrow, I will visit the cities of Nanao and Wajima and the Ishikawa prefectural government to hear about the status of damage and listen to requests from the frontlines. Considering the information obtained from those hearings, we intend to continue to implement support measures that suit the needs of the people affected by the disaster.
Next, I will inform you about the status of damage and response measures. First, regarding electric power, blackouts are still affecting around 3,700 households. According to Hokuriku Electric Power Company, power supply is expected to be restored to most households by the end of January except in some areas. With respect to the areas that remain cut off from power, restoration work will gradually proceed while power is supplied in ways that suit the needs of the frontlines in response to the requests from the local governments.
Regarding fuel, the prolonged stay in shelter facilities is creating a growing need for fuel oil and gasoline necessary for operating boilers and snowblowers in addition to heating oil and diesel oil. We will continue to develop a system to secure the necessary fuel in cooperation with the local communities while making advance deliveries in preparation for snowfall.
Regarding supplies, 1,068 temporary toilet facilities, including those installed by the government, have been installed, and an additional 60 or more are scheduled to be delivered. We are carefully meeting the requests from the frontlines. For example, we have started procuring 500,000 sets of paper dishes and paper cups so that daily necessities can be continuously supplied to shelter facilities.
Through those activities, METI will care for the people affected by the disaster and continue to do its utmost to respond to the disaster.
That is all I have to say.

Last updated:2024-01-26