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Noto quake-hit municipalities welcome new employees

A total of 155 new employees joined the Ishikawa prefectural government. (AFP)
A total of 155 new employees joined the Ishikawa prefectural government. (AFP)
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01 Apr 2024 06:04:12 GMT9
01 Apr 2024 06:04:12 GMT9

KANAZAWA: Local governments of areas hit by the Noto Peninsula earthquake three months ago welcomed new employees Monday, expecting them to offer renewed strength for post disaster reconstruction and revitalization efforts.

The city of Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, welcomed 14 new employees on the first day of fiscal 2024.

“Most of Wajima’s natural and cultural assets, such as the Asaichi Dori morning market area and the Shiroyone Senmaida terraced rice fields, were damaged” by the quake, Hikari Matsuno, 18, who joined the city government after graduating from Wajima Senior High School, said at an entrance ceremony. “They must be reconstructed, no matter how long it takes, and I want to learn my job quickly and contribute.”

“Let us make our city more attractive and wonderful than before the quake,” Wajima Mayor Shigeru Sakaguchi said.

“I love Wajima, where I have lived for 18 years, so I want to give back to the city,” said Miyabi Takesono, 23, a nurse who is set to commute to the Wajima Municipal Hospital from an evacuation center.

The town of Anamizu, also in Ishikawa, welcomed four new hires. “My (high school) homeroom teacher told me to work hard without giving up although reconstruction may be tough,” Ren Nishikawa, 18, who graduated from Anamizu High School, said. “I’ll do what I can.”

A total of 155 new employees joined the Ishikawa prefectural government.

“The walls collapsed, and I couldn’t move because of the terrible shaking,” Miku Tsuchikura, 22, one of the new prefectural workers and a native of the city of Nanao in Ishikawa, said, recalling the 7.6-magnitude Jan. 1 temblor, which measured up to the highest level of 7 on Japan’s seismic intensity scale. “I want to use what I saw and experienced as a disaster victim to win the trust of prefectural residents.”

Also on Monday, new personnel from local governments across the country were sent to Noto Peninsula quake-hit municipalities on a medium- to long-term basis.

Municipalities in areas damaged by the quake previously accepted emergency dispatches of employees from other local governments for short periods on a rotating basis, who have helped the affected municipalities conduct surveys for disaster certificates and run evacuation centers.

The newly dispatched personnel will work to support afflicted municipalities for one to two years.

“I signed up so that I can return a favor to Wajima, which sent staff to support us after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami,” said Yukinori Furuyama, 40, an employee of the city government of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, who was sent to the Wajima city government’s water and sewage department.

“I hope I can utilize the know-how I acquired from postdisaster reconstruction projects,” Furuyama said. Miyagi is one of the three prefectures hit hardest by the huge disaster 13 years ago.

JIJI Press

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