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The mayor of Suzu wants the buildings damaged by the earthquake to be demolished quickly

The mayor of Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday stressed the need for speedy demolition of buildings damaged by the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake in the prefecture.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Japan Research Institute, Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya said: “The demolition and removal of buildings will lead to the reconstruction of people’s lives and livelihoods.”

About 7,500 buildings damaged by the earthquake are expected to be demolished, Izumiya said.

“We must make rapid progress to prevent a population outflow,” he said. “Although many buildings have been damaged, our efforts have not been destroyed.”

Referring to Suzu’s efforts to preserve locally managed forest, marine and coastal areas, and the Oku-Noto Triennale festival hosted by the city, Izumiya said his city will strive for reconstruction that includes arts and advanced technologies.

Suzu was one of the hardest hit areas during the magnitude 7.6 earthquake.

“Our residents finally started to feel like things were looking up around the Golden Week holiday period, from late April to early May,” he said, calling for further support for disaster-hit areas.

During Wednesday’s conference, Izumiya exchanged views with Minamisanriku Mayor Jin Sato. The city in northeastern Miyagi Prefecture was hit hard by the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami.

Sato recalled that the Minamisanriku government faced unrest over relief-related operations as many city officials died in the disaster, and said local governments should prepare plans in advance for receiving relief supplies.

Izumiya said he was “grateful” that a municipality that sent staff to Minamisanriku after the disaster had pre-assigned their roles.

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