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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 April 10 - 16  > JCP Miyamoto criticizes gov't for setting new flight route favoring airliners from North America while ignoring local concerns
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2019 April 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Miyamoto criticizes gov't for setting new flight route favoring airliners from North America while ignoring local concerns

April 14, 2019

Japanese Communist Party representative Miyamoto Toru has criticized the Japanese government for setting up a new flight route mainly for airliners from North America while paying no heed to the locals beneath the flight path in order to meet the U.S. request.

The government is planning to increase international flights into and out of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) by 50. In association with this plan, the government will set up a new route over Shinagawa and Shibuya, both densely-populated urban central areas in Tokyo. Out of the additional 50 flights on the new route, 24 will be allotted for flights between Japan and the United States.

At a House of Representatives transport committee meeting on April 12, JCP lawmaker Miyamoto pointed out that the number of foreign visitors last year totaled 8.38 million from China and 7.54 million from South Korea. In contrast, U.S. visitors totaled about 1.5 million. Miyamoto questioned the rationale behind the planned allocation under which Japan-U.S. flights will be allocated about a half of the increase of 50.

Miyamoto said that the U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR) in its trade barriers reports has been calling for the expansion of commercially-meaningful access to Haneda Airport for the sake of U.S. business interests. He pointed out that the Japanese government, in response to this call, decided on the increase in the arrival/departure capacity at Haneda Airport for U.S. airline companies.

Miyamoto criticized the Japanese government for meeting U.S. interests while paying no heed to the Japanese populace affected, saying, "The government should protect people's daily lives and not give top priority to U.S. benefits."

He said that the ward assemblies of Shinagawa and Shibuya both unanimously adopted resolutions calling for a review of the new route due to safety concerns. He again demanded that the government withdraw the plan which is facing strong local opposition.

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