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Billions for Japan tsunami recovery went elsewhere, reports find

A crane this month sorts out rubble from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the collection site in northeastern  Japan. Some reports suggest the country's reconstruction efforts are set back by spending on unrelated projects. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

Image: A crane this month sorts out rubble from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the collection site in northeastern  Japan. Some reports suggest the country's reconstruction efforts are set back by spending on unrelated projects. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

latimesblogs.latimes.com - October 31st, 2012 - Emily Alpert

Billions of dollars meant to help Japan recover from its devastating tsunami went to government projects that had little or nothing to do with the disaster, a new spending review shows.

Japanese politicians have questioned why millions went to a factory that makes contact lenses, or why money was spent to fend off  environmental activists opposed to whaling, or other projects in areas far removed from the tsunami. Local media have dug up numerous  examples of dubious spending, from renovating government buildings outside the disaster zones to job training in  prisons.

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