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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 18 - 24  > Residents sue gov’t to stop maglev railway construction
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2016 May 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Residents sue gov’t to stop maglev railway construction

May 21, 2016
A group of 738 residents in Tokyo, Aichi, and five other prefectures along the planned route of a maglev super express railway on May 20 filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court, demanding that the government reconsider its approval of a railway construction plan.

Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) plans to construct a 290km-long maglev railway between Tokyo and Aichi. More than 85% of the route will be underground and the total cost is expected to exceed five trillion yen. The Transport Ministry in October 2014 approved the construction plan. JR Tokai in December that year started the construction work and the railway line is scheduled to go into commercial operations in 2027.

As reasons for the need to stop the construction, the plaintiffs pointed out that there are serious concerns about the operation safety as the trains will run on tracks deep underground and the railway company will have difficulty evacuating passengers in the event of emergencies such as a train fire or an earthquake. They also pointed out that the construction work will severely affect the natural environment through damage to groundwater veins and the disposal of a large amount of surplus soil generated from the work.

At a press conference held after the filing, Kawamura Teruo, who heads the plaintiffs’ group, said that the lawsuit aims to not only put a stop to the construction but also have JR Tokai disclose all information related to the project. He stressed that in addition to people living near the planned route, the construction will have a serious impact on Japan’s finance and on the natural environment.

Past related articles:
> Citizens voice anxieties about health damage from uranium dug up by maglev railway construction [February 28, 2016]
> JCP Shii calls for halt to construction of maglev Shinkansen system [May 18, 2012]
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