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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 August 7 - 13  > Tokyo JCP protests against Transport Minister’s decision on new Haneda flight routes
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2019 August 7 - 13 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo JCP protests against Transport Minister’s decision on new Haneda flight routes

August 9, 2019

The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Members’ Group on August 8 published a statement protesting against Transport Minister Ishii Keiichi’s decision to start the operation of new flight routes to and from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in March 2020. The new routes pass through airspaces directly above central Tokyo, including Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Minato, at low-altitudes.

The Transport Ministry as a reason for setting new flight routes cites the improvement of Haneda Airport’s functions in order to deal with a prospected increase in the number of inbound tourists stemming from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Following the minister’s decision, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko on the same day issued a comment welcoming the decision.

The JCP Assembly members’ statement points out that residents and municipalities directly below the new flight routes have expressed concern and that written opinions and resolutions have been adopted by the Shibuya and Shinagawa ward assemblies. The statement notes that the national and metropolitan governments had stated that obtaining consent from local governments and residents is a precondition for the new routes. The JCP assemblypersons’ group criticized the Land Minister’s decision as a breach of the promise.

The JCP statement condemns the Tokyo governor for promoting the opening of the new flight routes although her role is to challenge the state in response to residents’ anxieties and opposition. The statement also points out that it is unacceptable for the Transport Minister to cite the Tokyo governor’s request to open new routes by 2020 to support his claim that the new flight route plan obtained local consent.

The statement stresses that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should not be used as an excuse to ignore Tokyoites’ anxieties and opposition. It urges Transport Minister Ishii and Tokyo Governor Koike to cancel the new flight routes.

In Shibuya and Shinagawa wards, which are located directly below the new flight routes, the ward assemblies unanimously adopted written opinions protesting against the planned new routes.

Past related articles:
> Opposition party Dietmembers call on local gov'ts to refuse new Haneda flight routes [July 30, 2019]
> JCP Miyamoto criticizes gov't for setting new flight route favoring airliners from North America while ignoring local concerns [April 14, 2019]
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