New reconstruction agency launched with Hirano in charge
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday named Tatsuo Hirano to head the new reconstruction agency, which will be inaugurated on Friday.
Hirano was formerly the cabinet minister in charge of reconstruction for the Tohoku area devastated in the March 11 disaster.
The Diet approved a bill in December to create the new agency which will formulate a plan to rebuild the disaster area. It will operate until March 2021.
Noda said requests from disaster-hit areas will go to the agency which he hopes will respond in an accelerated way, NHK reported.
The reconstruction agency, which will have a staff of 250, also has responsibility for assisting companies affected by the nuclear crisis. It will have branch offices in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
The agency will be in charge of requests and allocations for funds from the reconstruction budget. It will have authority over other ministries, NHK reported.