Amid Japan Reconstruction, Generational Rift Opens

ONAGAWA, Japan — At age 39, Yoshiaki Suda, the new mayor of this town that was destroyed by last March’s tsunami, oversees a community where the votes, money and influence lie among its large population of graying residents. But for Onagawa to have a future, he must rebuild it in such a way as to make it attractive to those of his generation and younger.Connect With Us on TwitterFollow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.Twitter List: Reporters and EditorsEnlarge This Image The New York TimesA tsunami destroyed all 15 of the fishing villages that make up part of Onagawa.Readers’ CommentsShare your thoughts.Post a Comment »Read All Comments 26 »“That’s the most difficult problem,” Mr. Suda said. “For whom are we rebuilding?”The reconstruction of Onagawa and the rest of the coast where the tsunami hit is a preview of what may be the most critical test Japan will face in the decades ahead. In a country where power rests disproportionately among older people, how does Japan, which has the world’s most rapidly aging population, use its dwindling resources to build a society that looks to the future as much as to the past?

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