Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Japan disaster cash spent on counting turtles: report
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 03, 2013

A billion dollars of public money earmarked to help people hit by Japan's 2011 quake and tsunami was spent in areas unaffected by the natural disaster, the government admitted Monday.

Projects ranging from counting sea turtles on semi-tropical beaches, to the promotion of cheese and wine events hundreds of kilometres from the disaster zone benefited from the largesse, a report said.

While there is no suggestion of corruption, the admissions are an embarrassment for the Japanese government, which has previously acknowledged the country's controversial whaling programme was being supported by disaster money.

The Asahi Shimbun, a major daily newspaper, surveyed local authorities around the country to find out what happened to the 200 billion yen (around $2 billion) Tokyo set aside in 2011 for job creation after the disaster.

It said 108.5 billion yen was spent in 38 prefectures that were outside the stricken northeast, where 97 percent of people employed with the help of the money were not evacuees from the disaster zone.

In a town in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima, around 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the devastated city of Ishinomaki, three million yen was spent on the protection and observation of sea turtles.

Ten people were employed to count the creatures as they came ashore and to remind sightseers not to interfere with them.

"We only counted sea turtles and were not required to move eggs to safe places or do other things. It wasn't even for sea turtles, let alone those hit by the disaster," the daily quoted one of the 10 as saying.

The welfare ministry on Monday defended its spending, saying money had been disbursed around the country for good reason.

"Those who were hit by the disaster were widely spread across the nation at that time and supply chains (for manufacturing industries) were disrupted," said an official at the ministry.

The official said from the financial year that began April 2013, new hirings using public money for reconstruction were limited to those who were hit by the disaster.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said staff were checking how the money had been used, but noted the reported spending took place under the previous administration.

"After seeing the results, we will take firm measures with a view to stricter rules on use," he told reporters.

According to the Asahi, other publicly-financed projects included the production of a restaurant guidebook in Aichi, central Japan, and the publication of leaflets encouraging safe use of the Internet and mobile phones in nearby Mie.

In the far west of Honshu, money was allocated for advertising the cartoon mascot that promotes Yamaguchi, while Tottori prefecture decided to spend money promoting a local song and dance troupe.

In far northern Hokkaido a project to boost tourism based on the area's wine and cheese culture benefited from the money.

In December 2011 the government said it had spent 2.28 billion yen of money allocated for disaster reconstruction on bolstering security around its whaling fleet as the ships readied to do battle with campaigners in the Southern Ocean.

More than 18,000 people died when the towering tsunami smashed into Japan's northeast in March 2011.

Vast stretches of coastline were devastated and hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless in the catastrophe, which also set off a nuclear crisis at Fukushima.

Factories and farmland were put out of action, generating widespread unemployment that persists more than two years after the disaster.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to allocate 25 trillion yen over five years to fund reconstruction from the disaster, including building new homes and public facilities.

More than half of this sum is to be raised through higher taxes.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Africa plans emergency force, but can it deliver?
Nairobi (AFP) May 29, 2013
Aware that they have failed to get a fully-fledged peacekeeping force up and running, African leaders now plan a rapid-deployment emergency force, but analysts question whether it can deliver. The African Union's "African Standby Brigade", meant to intervene swiftly in regional crises, has made little headway since preparations for a proposed force of 32,500 troops and civilians drawn from t ... read more

Japan disaster cash spent on counting turtles: report

Agreement over Statue of Liberty security screening

No health risk from Fukushima radiation: UN

Japan nuclear lab accident affected 30: agency

Radiation Exposure Associated with a Trip to Mars Calculated

After factory shutdown, Italian workers 'recycle' jobs

Radiation Measured by Curiosity During Mars Trip Has Implications for Human Missions

NASA, Researchers Use Weightlessness of Space to Design Better Materials for Earth

Monsoon rains arrive in India, bring cheer to farmers

British water firm Severn Trent rejects new 5bn pounds bid

Sharks worth more in the ocean than on the menu

Climate change threatens extinction for 82 percent of California native fish

Russian scientists make rare find of 'blood' in mammoth

Study explores atmospheric impact of declining Arctic sea ice

The Antarctic polar icecap is 33.6 million years old

Slovenian flyer completes eco-friendly Arctic voyage

Improving 'crop per drop' could boost food and water security

Researchers help threatened wheat crops in Asia

Pork takeover shows China hunger for foreign feasts

Asia concerns spread due to rogue US wheat

Ten dead, thousands evacuated as floods sweep Europe

Strong quake kills two, injures 21 in Taiwan

Death toll from Taiwan killer quake rises to four

NASA's HS3 Mission May Target Cape Verde Island Hurricanes in 2013

Japan, eyeing China, pledges $14 bn aid to Africa

Climate change drowning the 'Venice of Africa'

Outside View: Somalia's Jubaland

Nigeria says women, children held by Boko Haram freed

Study: African terrain may have pushed humans into walking on two feet

170,000 living in subdivided flats in Hong Kong: study

Monkey teeth help reveal Neanderthal weaning

China newborn rescued from toilet pipe: report

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement