Jiji PressITOIGAWA, Niigata (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid a visit Wednesday to Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, where a major fire ravaged a commercial area late last month.
He unveiled a plan to set up a panel of national, prefectural and city government officials to consider reconstruction measures.
“We hope to create a town livelier than it was before the disaster,” he told reporters at the city hall.
The fire has been officially designated as a natural disaster because it was spread by strong winds. The designation allows affected people to get grants under a law to help disaster victims rebuild their lives.
The fire started at a Chinese restaurant on the morning of Dec. 22 and damaged 144 buildings, of which 120 were fully destroyed. It was put out about 30 hours later.