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Farm, fisheries damage grows to 64 bil. yen for Japan rain disaster

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Damage to the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries from the recent deadly torrential rain in Japan has been expanding, government data showed Friday.

It totaled 64.8 billion yen ($576 million) in 35 of the country's 47 prefectures as of Thursday, up from 7.2 billion yen estimated nine days earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The ministry said the figure could rise further and top the amounts recorded in similar rain disasters during recent years, 126.5 billion yen in 2012 and 112.2 billion yen last year, both marked after torrential rains in the northern part of the Kyushu region.

As of Friday, two weeks after the nation's worst rain disaster in decades, the death toll was at 225 in 15 prefectures, the National Police Agency said.

Of the damage to the primary industries, counted from June 28 when a seasonal rain front was stagnating near Japan, devastation of forests accounted for the largest part of the total sum with 27.1 billion yen.

Damage to agricultural facilities came second with 13.6 billion yen, followed by 10.8 billion yen in damage to forest roads and relevant facilities. Damage to farmlands was confirmed at more than 6,400 locations, costing 8.5 billion yen.

Damage to farm products such as fruits, vegetables and livestock reached 2.8 billion yen.

In Ehime, one of the hardest hit prefectures in the disaster, the producers of mandarin oranges, one of its specialties, reported serious damage.

Prices for green onions and some other vegetables started rising at a wholesale market in Osaka after the torrential rains.

Damage to the fisheries sector totaled 790 million yen, including costs for removing driftwood from ports.

Trying to speed up reconstruction efforts, the government has decided on its first policy package, including financing for the industries with five-year, interest-free loans.

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