The Japanese government expects to raise over 5 trillion yen ($43.2 billion) through stock sales to use in progressing the reconstruction of northeastern areas hit by the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, according to officials.

Revenues from the sale of stakes in Japan Tobacco Inc. and Japan Post Holdings Co. have already reached about 4.87 trillion yen, reaching the initial target range of 4.5 trillion yen to 5 trillion yen.

The Finance Ministry expects the government to raise an additional 170 billion yen by unloading some shares in Tokyo Metro Co. by fiscal 2027.

Combined photo shows the tsunami-devastated Taro district (upper) in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, pictured on March 15, 2011, and a huge breakwater under construction in the same area, pictured on Feb. 6, 2021, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Recovery works in parts of northeastern Japan devastated by the natural disaster, which triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis, have so far been funded by the issuance of reconstruction bonds, with the debt paid by the proceeds from government-held stock sales as well as temporary hikes in income and corporate taxes.

The government spent a total of 31 trillion yen on reconstruction in the 10 years through fiscal 2020.

The Finance Ministry expects a larger windfall from state-held stock sales than previously estimated will reduce the burden on taxpayers as it helps the government more quickly pay back some debt.

As for Tokyo Metro shares, 53.4 percent of which are held by the state and 46.6 percent by the Tokyo metropolitan government, both parties have decided to sell half of their holdings to facilitate the subway operator's planned listing on the stock exchange.

The specific timing of Tokyo Metro's initial public offering has yet to be decided.

A lookout platform under construction is pictured at a memorial park in the tsunami-devastated northeastern Japan town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2021, the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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