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News Release

Rebuilding the Tohoku region (1)
— Beyond reconstruction: the Tohoku region as a model for regional regeneration —

May 18, 2011

The Great East Japan Earthquake has caused irreversible changes to the economy and society of the Tohoku region. Simply restoring the local industrial and civil infrastructure is not enough. What the Tohoku region needs is a “new start” that takes into account the changed conditions that will exist after the infrastructure has been restored. To achieve this, it will not be enough to map out an ideal vision; it is important that proper account be taken of the characteristics of the local population and industrial concentration, and of the state of destruction.

This report divides the Tohoku region into three zones — (1) a coastal zone, which has suffered depopulation and degradation of its industrial infrastructure, (2) a central zone which has a concentration of industry (centering on the machinery components sector) and of population and (3) a zone linking the central zone and coastal zone — and suggests that the aim should be a “new start” restoration of industry that takes into account the individual characteristics of each zone.

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