Japanese Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano said on Wednesday that the effects of last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami would be relatively short-lived, with the economy expected to recover toward the end of the year.

Yosano added, however, that power supplies and the nuclear safety crisis remained among the biggest sources of uncertainty for the economy and that it would take several years to rebuild the stricken areas of northeast Japan.

The effects of the earthquake will be temporary. It will cause various indirect damage such as dampening consumer sentiment but the economy will pick up toward the end of this year. That's what many economists are thinking, Yosano told a news conference.

Japan cut its assessment of the economy for the first time in six months, saying it is showing weakness after a massive earthquake and tsunami last month devastated Japan's northeast.

($1 = 84.6 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Edmund Klamann)