Japan govt estimates quake damage at $197-308 billion

By @ibtimes on

- Japan's government said on Wednesday it estimated damage from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan this month at about 16-25 trillion yen ($197-308 billion).

The estimate covers damage to roads, homes, factories and other infrastructure but excludes lost economic activity from power outages and costs arising from damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, as well as the impact of swings in financial markets and business sentiment.

The impact from the planned power outages is likely to be significant, Fumihira Nishizaki, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Cabinet Office, told reporters.

Our estimates do not take into account impacts from the nuclear power incident including various rumors that are related to radiation.

He also said uncertainty surrounded the scope of the actual damage and how the government and private sector would respond.

In a monthly economic assessment compiled on the basis of data prior to the March 11 disaster the government also highlighted risk to the Japanese economy posed by swings in international financial markets, a rise in the price of oil and the performance of other major economies.

($1 = 81.065 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Michael Watson)

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