A government-conducted audit revealed that money from the reconstruction fund was redirected to unrelated projects. The audit was ordered as residents in the worst-hit areas repeatedly voiced their frustration over the slow pace of rebuilding works.
Press reports indicated that parts of the Y14.9 trillion ($187 bn.) were diverted to funding an array of unconnected works, like road-building on the southern island of Okinawa, or support payments to firms that reside outside the disaster area.
About Y8 bn. were used to purchase rare metals, a key component in the high-tech industry, while Y4.2 bn. were used to send disaster-prevention equipment to countries in Southeast Asia.
“The purpose of the report is to expose to the eyes of the public details of the budgeted projects,” said board of audit official Tetsuya Hosokawa.
“We didn’t say which projects were appropriate and which were not, but following criticism by media and the public, each ministry may review their budgeted projects,” he said.