[JP] Maglev Line: Showing Solutions to Local Concerns

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Miss Maglev
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[JP] Maglev Line: Showing Solutions to Local Concerns

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Yasutomo Suzuki, former mayor of Hamamatsu City, won the first election for governor of Shizuoka Prefecture after former governor Heita Kawakatsu resigned due to gaffes. One of the issues was the construction of the Linear Central Shinkansen Line, which will tunnel through the Southern Alps in the northern part of the prefecture.

 Kawakatsu refused to allow construction to begin, citing concerns about the reduction of water in the Oi River, which is fed by the Southern Alps, and its impact on the ecosystem, and JR Tokai, the main operator of the project, abandoned plans to open the Shinagawa-Nagoya section of the line in 2027. His stance on environmental protection had earned him some praise from the people of the prefecture.

 After winning the election, Suzuki initially reaffirmed his support for the line project, but when a water shortage caused by the construction of the line surfaced in Mizunami City, Gifu Prefecture, during the election period, he received many votes for Kawakatsu's handling of the line project. However, at a press conference after taking office, Kawakatsu said, "At the end of the day, a political decision is necessary," and did not clearly state whether he would approve or disapprove of the construction, while stating that the government must allay concerns about the environmental impact.

 The linear Shinkansen line consists of 86% tunnels along its entire length. It has also been confirmed that the water level in Nagano Prefecture is dropping, likely due to the excavation. If construction continues as is, similar damage may occur in other areas.

 JR Tokai should investigate the cause and take drastic measures as soon as possible. Mr. Suzuki should make a careful decision on whether or not to proceed with construction, focusing on the impact on the ecosystem and living environment.

 In Mizunami City, water springs were found at two locations in the same tunnel last December and in February of this year; JR Tokai confirmed a drop in water levels in observation wells in late February and reported it to the city and residents, but domestic wells have become unusable and agricultural water reservoirs are drying up, severely affecting residents' lives.

 It is incomprehensible that JR Tokai delayed its report and notification to Gifu Prefecture until May and then decided to continue construction. Although the construction was halted immediately after receiving criticism, the company should have made a public announcement and halted the construction as soon as it confirmed that the water level had dropped, taking into account the concerns of the local community.

 Regarding the decline in the Oigawa River mentioned by Kawakatsu, JR Tokai submitted a proposal last year to maintain the water level by restricting water intake from the upstream dam, and the prefectural government and local governments in the basin agreed.

Translated Japanese News: https://www.kobe-np.co.jp/opinion/20240 ... 6589.shtml Accessed: 2024-06-02
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