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Pennsylvania Expert Sees Long Recovery Road For Quake-Damaged Japan

(Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami.  AP photo)

(Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami. AP photo)

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LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) – How long could Japan’s recovery take?

hasunuma Pennsylvania Expert Sees Long Recovery Road For Quake Damaged JapanLinda Hasunuma (right), an assistant professor of government at Franklin and Marshall College, says it could take take a long time for life in Japan to return to normal.

“In terms of the recovery and the rebuilding, I’m really concerned about the financing because the country has so much debt,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

She says it’s difficult to comprehend how much damage the earthquake and subseqent tsunami have caused.

“I would have to say that it’s multiple (times the Katrina damage to) New Orleans.  The scale and the magnitude of the destruction, whole towns being washed away, and the numbers alone of the missing and the dead are in the thousands,” she points out.

And she says affected areas of Japan are still in immediate need of aid.

“There’s still pockets of areas and shelters that are not receiving food, water, fuel, they need toilitries, they need basic supplies, and they are not receiving them,” Hasunuma says.

She says she’s also curious as to what will happen in Japan politically; prior to the disaster there was talk of dissolving the parliament and having a new election.

“In times of crisis like this you want political stability, so it’s going to give the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) additional time to demonstrate to the people of Japan that it can lead,” she says.

She calls this tragedy a major moment in Japanese history, comparable to 9/11 here.

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060.