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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 March 25 - 31  > Osaka legislature rejects governor’s proposal to relocate prefectural office
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2009 March 25 - 31 [POLITICS]

Osaka legislature rejects governor’s proposal to relocate prefectural office

March 25, 2009
The Osaka Prefectural Assembly on March 24 voted down the governor’s proposal to move the prefectural office to the waterfront on Osaka Bay.

Governor Hashimoto Toru failed to secure a two-thirds majority in the 112-member Osaka Prefectural Assembly in favor of the 10.5 billion-yen relocation plan.

Last February, Hashimoto proposed moving the present prefectural office from the central Osaka City and to the Osaka World Trade Center (WTC) Building in Suminoe Ward.

The governor argued that the WTC could be the capital in the event that several mid-western Japanese prefectures, including Osaka, are merged into a new larger administrative unit of Kansai Shu (region).

Of the 96 ruling party members of the assembly (the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and Democratic parties), only 46 voted in favor of his proposal. All opposition members, including ten Japanese Communist Party members, voted against.

After investigating into his proposal, the JCP in the assembly revealed that the WTC is too inadequate to be a regional stronghold to deal with possible earthquakes, and criticized him for being irresponsible.

Later, the Komei Party began expressing its opposition to the project, followed by members of other parties.

JCP representative Hotta Bun’ichi at the assembly warned that there is a great possibility that the WTC tower, built on artificial Sakishima Island, will become dysfunctional if a powerful earthquake with jolts of long duration hits Osaka.
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