Japan’s State Minister for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

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Tokyo, Japan – Tatsuo Hirano, Japan’s state minister for Reconstruction in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, talks to foreign media during a news conference at Tokyo’s Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on January 19, 2012. Hirano will head the new government agency that will be set up in February to guide reconstruction of Japan’s northeastern region stricken by the March 11 triple disaster. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ensuing nuclear calamity of the Fukushima nuclear power plant represented the worst crisis Japan has faced since the end of World War II. More than 15,800 people have died from the earthquake and tsunami, and the reconstruction costs put added pressure on Japan’s already strained finances, leading the country to compile three supplementary budgets for a total of about $234 billion.(Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)