Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to draw up a new-five year plan to speed rebuilding from a massive 2011 tsunami and the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl that have left thousands still homeless.
Abe spoke ahead of the fourth anniversary of the devastating March 11 earthquake, which set off a massive tsunami that ravaged the Pacific coastline, killing nearly 20,000 and causing explosions and meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
Much remains to be done, with many towns struggling to provide jobs and permanent housing for thousands of residents, Abe told a news conference, adding that the government would prepare a new five-year reconstruction plan by this summer.
"We in the Abe government will provide all the support needed for the people in the devastated areas, who are working so hard to rebuild their lives and move ahead," Abe said.
"The current intensive five-year reconstruction plan expires next March, but we will draw up another for the next five years by this summer," he added.