Shizuoka Governor Rejects State's Proposals over Maglev Deadlock

Politics

Shizuoka, July 10 (Jiji Press)--Heita Kawakatsu, governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, on Friday rejected the Japanese transport ministry's proposals aimed at breaking the deadlock over preparatory work in the central prefecture concerning Central Japan Railway Co.'s <9022> ultrahigh-speed magnetic levitation train line project.

In their meeting held at the Shizuoka prefectural government office, vice transport minister Kozo Fujita explained to Kawakatsu the proposals and asked the prefecture to approve the restart of the work leading up to the launch of the excavation of a tunnel for the maglev line of the railway operator, better known as JR Tokai.

But the governor spurned the call. A conclusion has already been reached, Kawakatsu said, noting that the preparatory work is an integrated part of the tunnel construction work.

With a landslide having occurred near the construction site following recent heavy rains, the proposals "ignore the reality on the ground" and are therefore impractical, Kawakatsu said.

JR Tokai has been seeking to resume the preparatory work early. But the Shizuoka government has withheld its approval, citing concerns over environmental impacts. The Shizuoka side is particularly concerned that the tunnel work will decrease the amount of groundwater flowing into the Oi River in the prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press