Jul 10, 2018

Rains pour through cracks in Japan’s infrastructure spending

Okayama Prefecture
Japan
by
William Pesek
,
Asia Times
A street devastated by floods and landslides in Mabi, Okayama prefecture. Credit: Martin Bureau, AFP
A street devastated by floods and landslides in Mabi, Okayama prefecture. Credit: Martin Bureau, AFP

Government spending on flood control fell to about US$7 billion in fiscal 2018 from a peak of about $12.3 billion in 1997. The public-works drawdown was the work of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who from 2001 to 2006 slashed construction budgets. That austerity is now haunting Japan as climate change increases the frequency and ferociousness of storms.