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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 18 - 24  > Abe gov’t should not open new flight routes for Haneda Airport
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2020 March 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe gov’t should not open new flight routes for Haneda Airport

March 22, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Abe government will start the use of new flight routes over Tokyo on March 29 in order to increase the capacity of international flight traffic at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport). When airplanes approach or leave the airport using the new courses, they inevitably fly over central Tokyo and neighboring Kawasaki City at a low altitude. Residents living under the routes are expressing their concern over possible noise pollution and risk of falling object incidents and they have launched protest campaigns.

In Tokyo’s Shibuya, Shinagawa, and Minato wards over which the new flight routes pass, ward assemblies adopted resolutions or written opinions calling for the revision of the planned flight courses. Residents’ groups have been set up to oppose the route establishment. In Shinagawa, citizens are campaigning for a local referendum on this matter.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in his policy speech last year said that the government will make efforts to acquire consent from local residents for the new flight routes. However, in reality, the Abe government is pushing forward with the new route plan by insisting that the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the group of Tokyo ward mayors agreed with the plan. Local residents have petitioned the Transport Ministry to refrain from putting the new flight routes into operation by criticizing the ministry for ignoring their opinions and stubbornly sticking to its schedule. On March 19, a suprapartisan group of Dietmembers urged the ministry to not open the new flight routes without obtaining local consent. As the ongoing COVID-19 virus crisis has caused a drop in international flights, there is no need to start the operation of the new courses on March 29. The Abe government should listen sincerely to local residents.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo JCP protests against Transport Minister’s decision on new Haneda flight routes [August 9, 2019]
> Opposition party Dietmembers call on local gov'ts to refuse new Haneda flight routes [July 30, 2019]
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