State pushes for restart of work at Isahaya Bay

The farm ministry asked the Saga District Court on Friday to suspend its order to halt a land reclamation project in Isahaya Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture, claiming the protracted suspension would result in huge economic losses.

On Aug. 31, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry also filed an objection to the order, claiming there was no scientific evidence to link damage to the local fishing industry to the project.

Together with its request for a suspension of the court order Friday, the government also urged the court to expedite study of its objection.

If suspension of construction drags on, the government will be forced to terminate its contract and subsequently pay about 400 million yen in damages to contractors, ministry officials said.

The suspension will also result in 4.5 billion yen in annual losses to the agricultural industry, as it will affect the government’s plan for vegetable farming on the reclaimed land, they said.

In the objection, the ministry has argued that construction work is 95 percent complete and it sees no need for a halt.

The ministry filed the objection shortly after the court issued a provisional order on Aug. 26 to suspend all construction work involving the controversial project.