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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > JCP Motomura: Gov’t should use tax revenues to maintain local train services and not for maglev railway project
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2017 February 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

JCP Motomura: Gov’t should use tax revenues to maintain local train services and not for maglev railway project

February 18, 2017
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Motomura Nobuko on February 17 at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting demanded that taxpayer’s money be used to support local rail services vital to local communities and not for the maglev railway construction.

The Liberal Democratic Party-led government in 1987 privatized and divided Japanese National Railways into one freight company and six passenger companies (Japan Railway companies). At that time, the LDP proclaimed that local rail services will be maintained. However, since 2000, 36 rail lines, totaling 771.1 kilometers across Japan, have been abandoned.

JCP Motomura pointed out that JR Hokkaido is experiencing difficulty in providing train services on 13 sections of 10 lines, which means that 1,237.2 kilometers of train lines, nearly half of all lines in Hokkaido, will probably be scrapped.

Motomura referred to a remark made by Finance Minister Aso Taro at a February 8 Lower House Budget Committee meeting that even at the time of the privatization and division of the JNR, it was predicted that four JR companies other than JR Tokai, JR East, and JR West may have to struggle to improve business performance.

The JCP lawmaker urged the government to admit its mistake in privatizing and breaking up the national railway network and take measures for the continuous operation of local train services. In response, Prime Minister Abe said that it is necessary to help struggling JR companies like JR Hokkaido.

Criticizing the government’s plan to pour three trillion yen in public funds into the maglev Shinkansen project promoted by JR Tokai, Motomura said, “JR Tokai has a high-performance structure, so the government should stop using public money for the maglev project.”

Pat related articles:
> JCP Motomura urges gov’t to abandon money-consuming maglev train project [ October 5, 2016]
> Local residents petition gov’t to not provide loan to maglev railway project [ June 25, 2016]
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