Japan’s Recovery Agency Not Functioning Well and Slated for Reorganization

The U.S. isn’t the only country not coping well with long-term recovery from a major disaster. Japan is having its problems too. There is no question that effective and efficient recovery is very hard to do. See Reconstruction Agency under reform a year on. Some excerpts from the article:

 Plagued by administrative disorganization, the Reconstruction Agency is revamping itself to accelerate recovery from the March 2011 disasters, ahead of the first anniversary of its launch Sunday. Designed to oversee the rebuilding of areas devastated by the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, the agency was expected to guide related government agencies.

In reality, however, progress has been slow in housing reconstruction and decontamination of radiation-polluted areas.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has made postdisaster reconstruction a priority, along with economic revival, plans to improve coordination within the agency to better effect policies. “The agency will be revamped drastically with the vertically divided administration eliminated,” Abe said.

According to a colleague who has visited Japan, Given the scope of spatial area and many small cities the capacity issue is not surprising. There is a real need to support the urban planning function with more than physical planning. The need to put projects in the ground requires more than graphics. It requires collective effort of multiple stakeholders.

One more article on the problems of the Reconstruction Agency. Feb. 7.

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