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Friday, July 8, 2011

Foreign media invited to see recovery efforts


The government is inviting foreign journalists to Japan to show them how reconstruction has progressed in the Tohoku region since the March 11 quake and tsunami, officials said Wednesday.

Five invited Chinese reporters are staying through Monday to interview representatives of local governments and business communities in the disaster areas. Journalists from South Korea, Southeast Asia and Europe will follow later.

The program is intended to promote tourism, which has fallen off sharply since the natural disasters and ongoing nuclear crisis.

It is also designed to introduce rebuilding at such locations as specialty food factories and sake breweries. Participants will also learn about the current condition of supply chains in the region, they added.

The Chinese reporters will visit two places in Iwate Prefecture — Ofunato, where a 15-member Chinese rescue team arrived shortly after the calamity, and Hiraizumi, an area rich with historic Buddhist temples that recently was listed by the U.N. as a World Heritage cultural site, the officials said.

To beef up publicity, the government earmarked ¥5.3 billion in a ¥2 trillion second extra budget that was drafted for fiscal 2011 and approved Tuesday.

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