Commercial complex opens in Iwaki city's tsunami-ravaged area

21 April 2017

A commercial complex opened on April 20 in Iwaki city's Hisanohama-machi district that was devastated by the massive tsunami caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The one-story "Hamakaze Kirara" building houses seven shops, including a Japanese restaurant, a delicatessen, a beauty parlor and a cafe. They have been crowded with many visitors since the opening day.

The complex was built at a total cost of about 200 million yen by Hamakaze Kirara corporate entity to restore a shopping street in Hisanohama-machi and create more bustle in the neighborhood. The project was financed by a subsidy from the central government's fund to create jobs and attract businesses in communities affected by the tsunami and ensuing nuclear plant accident. The light-gauge steel-frame building has a total floor space of about 800 square meters. Besides the shops, a local commerce and industry chamber has an office and a post office is scheduled to open this summer.

The complex, located some 300 meters east of East Japan Railway Co.'s Hisanohama Station, stands on a tract of land in an area developed under a Hisanohama land readjustment project for post-disaster reconstruction undertaken by the city.

A completion ceremony for the complex was held in front of the building. "We hope to make it a place long cherished for the sake of children who bear the future of this community," said Shigeyuki Takagi , 60, president of Hamakaze Kirara. Congratulatory speeches were given by guests, including State Minister for Reconstruction Hiroaki Nagasawa and Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu. These and other officials then cut the ribbon to mark the occasion.

(Translated by Kyodo News)