Japan Govt Mediates to Break Maglev Work Deadlock

Politics

Tokyo, July 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese transport ministry has made proposals for breaking the deadlock over preparatory work in Shizuoka Prefecture concerning Central Japan Railway Co.'s <9022> ultrahigh-speed magnetic levitation train line project.

Vice transport minister Kozo Fujita explained the proposals, aimed at conducting the work early, to Shin Kaneko, president of the railway operator, better known as JR Tokai, when they met in Tokyo on Friday.

JR Tokai has been seeking to advance the preparatory work in the central Japan prefecture for starting the excavation of a tunnel for the maglev Shinkansen line. But the prefectural government has denied its consent to the work, citing concerns over environmental impacts.

In the proposals, announced on Thursday, the ministry is asking the prefecture to allow JR Tokai to conduct the preparatory work to the extent that it would cause only minor impacts on the environment, while calling on JR Tokai not to start the drilling of the tunnel before a relevant expert panel of the central government finishes discussions.

The Shizuoka side is particularly concerned that the tunnel work will potentially decrease the amount of groundwater flowing into the Oi River in the prefecture. The 25-kilometer tunnel will link Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures via Shizuoka.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press