DPJ urges review of Isahaya Bay project

The Democratic Party of Japan has urged the government for a drastic review of an ongoing public works project to reclaim part of Isahaya Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture, for agricultural use.

DPJ coleader Yukio Hatoyama is to meet May 15 with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to make the request. His partner, Naoto Kan, will meet with Takao Fujimoto, head of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, on May 16 for the same purpose. Kan told reporters that the government should allow sea water into the reclamation area, which has been closed by embankment since April 14. If the area does not receive water it will mean the extermination of sea creatures that are unique to this part of Japan.

If the government does carry out the project, it is estimated that more than 230 billion yen of public money will be spent. Many people argue that the project, mapped out 45 years ago to create more land for agriculture, has already lost its original purpose due to considerable socioeconomic changes over the past few decades.