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For a Japanese Island, Reconstruction Kills Revival

Since the Japanese government spent $300 billion rebuilding Okushiri after a 1993 tsunami, things have taken a grim, ironic turn: with high-paying construction jobs leaving, so are young people who no longer wish to be part of a fishing economy.
January 11, 2012, 6am PST | Judy Chang
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"'We didn't use more of that reconstruction money to invest in new industries to keep young people,' said Takami Shinmura, 58, the mayor of Okushiri's sole township, which bears the same name. 'We regret this now.'

Since the tsunami in March, hundreds of officials from local governments in the affected areas, as well as the national news media, have descended on Okushiri, an island about twice the size of Manhattan, to seek lessons from its reconstruction."

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Published on Monday, January 9, 2012 in The New York Times
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