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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 15 - 21  > JCP criticizes gov’t for approving maglev railway construction
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2014 October 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP criticizes gov’t for approving maglev railway construction

October 18, 2014
The Japanese Communist Party on October 17 published a statement criticizing the transport minister for approving a plan to construct a maglev Shinkansen line in defiance of public anxieties over possible environmental damage.

As 86% of the planned route will run underground, local residents, municipalities, and even the environment minister are expressing concerns over the handling and disposal of a vast amount of soil and the potential adverse impact on groundwater aquifers. They are also concerned that the maglev trains will consume too much electricity and that electromagnetic waves emitted by the trains will damage the environment.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kokuta Keiji, who heads the party’s project team on the maglev Shinkansen issue, held a press conference in the Diet building. He protested against the Transport Minister’s approval to the construction plan and demanded that the railway company cancel the plan.

The JCP statement points out, “Local residents and municipalities have not given their consent to the project and have not been provided with enough information to make an informed decision. Under such a situation, starting the construction is unacceptable.” Stating that the need now is to have nationwide discussions on the project, Kokuta expressed his determination to work to promote discussions in collaboration with residents and local governments.

Transport Minister Ota Akihiro officially allowed Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) to construct the first half of the Tokyo-Osaka route of the maglev railway. The rail company seeks to start the operation of the frist half of the route by 2027, and the remaining half by 2045.

The total construction cost is projected to exceed nine trillion yen. The cost will be covered by JR Central, however, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party calls for state financial support to the company.

Past related articles
> Stop and think if maglev Shinkansen will really enrich our lives [October 1, 2014]
> JCP urges gov’t to not approve maglev railway construction [September 10, 2014]
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