Japan premier pledges tsunami relief

prime Minister Naoto Kan paid another visit to Japan’s tsunami-devastated coast yesterday, promising officials in a fishing-dependent city that his government will do whatever it can to help.

Mr Kan visited Ishinomaki, a coastal city of 163,000 people in Miyagi, one of the states hardest hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that killed as many as 25,000 people, destroyed miles of coastline and left tens of thousands homeless.

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“The government will do its utmost to help you,” Mr Kan, dressed in blue work clothes, told local people gathered near the sea. “We will support you so that you can resume fishing.”

Ishinomaki Mayor Hiroshi Kameyama told him the government needs to quickly build temporary homes for the 17,000 city residents who are living in shelters.

More than 2,600 people from Ishinomaki were killed in the disaster and another 2,800 are missing. Boats were also destroyed, crippling the fishing industry.