Economic Concerns Grow over Kansai Airport Shutdown


Osaka, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--With Kansai International Airport in western Japan closed since Tuesday due to damage from powerful Typhoon Jebi, concerns are growing over potential adverse ramifications, in particular for the tourism industry.

In fiscal 2017, the number of flight landings and takeoffs at the airport totaled some 188,000, while the cargo volume stood at about 852,000 tons.

"Inbound tourism is a driving force of the economy in the Kansai (western) region," Tomohisa Ishikawa, chief of the Japan Research Institute's Kansai economic research center, said. The airport's closure could have negative effects of around 10 billion yen per day, according to Ishikawa.

The round-the-clock airport opened on a man-made island in Osaka Prefecture in 1994. It is currently linked by air with about 100 cities in the world.

After remaining in the doldrums for many years under heavy construction costs after the opening, the airport has enjoyed growth in recent years thanks to the arrival of budget carriers. In fiscal 2017, the airport served a total of 28.8 million passengers, setting a record high for the third year in a row.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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