Japan PM Abe: Want to designate quake-hit southern region as disaster area

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he wanted to officially designate the southern region hit by the deadly earthquakes since last week as a disaster area as soon as possible. Such a designation would allow the government to spend more on reconstruction and other necessary activities. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Sunday the government may seek a supplementary budget to cover the cost of the quakes. The earthquakes in Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu since last Thursday have caused 42 deaths, while 10 remain "out of contact". About 110,000 people have been displaced. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)