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Japan quake may be world's costliest disaster at $308 billion

“The Japanese government said Wednesday that the economic cost of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami could be as much as $308 billion, more than double the cost of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. The government said construction and related costs will total 16 trillion to 25 trillion yen ($198 billion to $308 billion), according to reports citing a statement by the Cabinet Office. The estimate focused on infrastructure-related damages, as well as that to homes, factories and other buildings, but did not take into account loses related to the ongoing crisis at the damaged nuclear-power plant in the prefecture of Fukushima. It also said the disaster would knock about a half percentage point off economic growth in the next fiscal year. However, it said some of the disruption to the economy would be offset by the increased spending for reconstruction works.”

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