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Published September 22, 2011, 09:36 PM

74% of disaster-hit farming businesses resume operations in Japan

TOKYO — The farm ministry said Thursday that 73.7 percent of farming businesses affected by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster in eight Japanese prefectures had resumed operations by July 11, while only 35.5 percent of disaster-hit fishing entities in six prefectures returned to business.

TOKYO — The farm ministry said Thursday that 73.7 percent of farming businesses affected by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster in eight Japanese prefectures had resumed operations by July 11, while only 35.5 percent of disaster-hit fishing entities in six prefectures returned to business.

But the resumption percentages were far smaller for Miyagi and Iwate among the three prefectures that were hardest hit by the disaster, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in a survey report on the disaster's impact on farming and fishing operations.

Another hard-hit prefecture, Fukushima, was excluded from the survey due to the nuclear plant crisis there that has made such a survey difficult as farmers and other residents near the plant were forced to evacuate.

The disaster affected 19,700 farming entities or 4.3 percent of the total in the eight prefectures, including 14,600 that resumed operations, the ministry said.

It damaged 7,020 farming entities or 13.8 percent of the total in Miyagi and 7,680 entities or 13.5 percent of the total in Iwate.

Only 34.1 percent of the damaged farming entities in Miyagi have resumed operations, while 94.5 percent of those in Iwate have restarted farming.

The disaster, particularly the devastating tsunami, inflicted damage on 12,400 fishing entities in the six prefectures, including 4,460 that have restarted operations.

It affected 3,990 fishing entities in Miyagi and 5,100 entities in Iwate. Only 17.7 percent of the affected entities in Miyagi and 16.4 percent of those in Iwate have resumed operations.

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