October 14, 2019
Tokyo--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday his government will set up a cross-ministry group to provide livelihood support for people afflicted by Typhoon Hagibis, which tore through central and eastern Japan on the weekend.
At a meeting of a typhoon disaster response task force, Abe instructed government staff to make the utmost effort to rescue affected people and search for those unaccounted for.
Noting that more than 30,000 people are in evacuation shelters, Abe said it is an urgent task for the government to make detailed responses to help them.
He expressed concerns that effects of the typhoon on livelihood and economic activity may be prolonged.
The cross-ministry response team will be headed by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita and consist of ministry officials at the director-general level.
It will work to restore electricity and water supply, facilitate emergency transportation of water and food, prepare better evacuation shelters, and secure homes for affected people.
At a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said more than 110,000 personnel, including police officers, firefighters, Self-Defense Forces members and Japan Coast Guard officers, have been mobilized for disaster response.
The government is assessing the scope of the typhoon damage in order for the early designation of the typhoon as an extremely severe disaster eligible for enhanced state support for affected areas, Suga said.
Defense Minister Taro Kono said at a separate news conference that he will mobilize up to 1,000 reserve SDF officers to prepare for protracted disaster response activities. Jiji Press
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