FUKUSHIMA--Tatsuo Hirano, state minister for reconstruction, explained the gist of a bill on the special measures law on Fukushima Prefecture's restoration and revitalization in a meeting with Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato at the Fukushima prefectural government office on Saturday morning.
The central government plans to submit the bill at an ordinary Diet session to be convened next month.
In the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the bill will include provisions that enable the central government to take over the restoration work such as restoration of water supply and sewerage systems based on requests from local governments, according to government officials.
At the beginning of the meeting, Hirano told Sato: "Fukushima Prefecture is confronting problems different from those other disaster-hit prefectures are facing, such as harmful rumors [about products and tourism] based on radiation fears. We have to prepare legislative measures when necessary."
The envisaged bill will also include provisions encouraging corporations to hire disaster survivors when they restart their business in areas around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after evacuation instructions are lifted. The firms would be able to deduct up to 20 percent of such personnel costs from their corporate taxes for up to five years.
Provisions of an existing law cap such deductions at 10 percent, even if areas are designated as special restoration zones by the government.
(Dec. 11, 2011)