「復興庁」 (reconstruction agency)

「復興庁」 (reconstruction agency) 長官には岩手選挙区の小沢一郎さんが適任だと思います。

(Mainichi Japan) March 28, 2011
Reconstruction efforts require centralized headquarters, strong local representation
社説:復興への政府体制 機動的な司令塔整備を

Debate is taking place over the government's approach to the reconstruction of areas in eastern Japan that have suffered grave damage from the recent earthquake and tsunami.

One of the ideas that have emerged within the government and ruling party is the establishment of a reconstruction agency.

To rebuild the vast number of communities that were wiped out by the massive tsunami on March 11, such an organization must be able to propel various ministries and agencies to come together, as well as conceptualize progress from a mid- to long-term perspective.

It would not be in our best interests to expend more energy than is necessary in creating the organization.

What we are aiming for is a flexible control group that is quick on its feet.

Currently, government support for disaster victims is being supervised by a special disaster victim support headquarters that spun off from an emergency disaster relief headquarters comprising all Cabinet ministers.

More than two weeks have passed since the disaster hit, and the restoration of infrastructure -- such as residential construction, roads, and ports -- and deliberations to draw up a major supplementary budget are expected to shift into high gear.

As the scale of reconstruction plans for the latest disaster is expected to far exceed that following the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, their success is contingent upon the government's strong leadership.

The Teito (Imperial Capital) Reconstruction Agency was launched after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake to help rebuild the nation's capital.

Based on this experience, some government and ruling-party insiders are suggesting the formation of a similar Recovery Agency to oversee wide-ranging administration in the aftermath of this month's devastation.

To centralize the reconstruction-related administration, the idea of establishing a central-command type system is a good one.

However, there are several points that must be considered in doing so.

First, we should avoid launching any organizations that could be redundant, as we've seen repeatedly in the past whenever the government has established new organizations or agencies.

The agency needs to be a simple organization specializing in giving out commands.

Most importantly, however, it must have the ability to map out guidelines for reconstruction.

Many of the areas affected by the recent disaster have rapidly aging populations and suffer from depopulation. Measures to prevent secondary disasters from tsunami must be implemented, but the affected area is extremely vast.

A wide-range of information and insight must be gathered in order to simultaneously revitalize communities and prevent future disasters while acknowledging the differences between the latest disaster and the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

When the Great Hanshin Earthquake took place in 1995, the government launched the Hanshin-Awaji Restoration Committee, an advisory panel to the prime minister.

This time, however, we should set up a more powerful consultative body -- comprising senior officials from the ruling party, various experts, as well as members of the business world -- that, along with the secretariat, would have a strong mandate.

Calling on opposition parties to participate, and having implementing agencies and organizations employ liaison committees made up of administrative vice ministers is one way to go about the restoration process.

Even more important is to avoid departing from the general rule that the major players of the reconstruction process are local communities.

Accordingly, to address concerns and implement revitalization plans that defy prefectural boundaries, the involvement of multiple governors and various community members go without saying.

The national government must avoid any anachronistic moves such as forcing its plans onto local communities.

毎日新聞 2011年3月28日 東京朝刊

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