Kumamoto Governor Supports Dam Construction

Politics Lifestyle

Kumamoto, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima said Thursday that he supports the construction of a dam on a tributary of a river that caused deadly flooding during torrential rains in the southwestern Japan prefecture in July.

Reversing his opposition to such a dam, Kabashima told the prefectural assembly that he will request that the central government build one on the Kawabe River, which flows into the Kuma River.

"I feel strong responsibility" for the deaths of residents, the governor said. "The current will of the people is to protect life and the environment," he said, adding that building a dam could prevent a disaster.

Explaining his reversal at a press conference, Kabashima said that there was a change in people's thinking following a recent series of natural disasters.

The dam construction plan was scrapped in 2009 due to environmental concern among residents. The prefecture and the central government had since pursued flood control not involving a dam. However, the effort was not successful.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press