‘MacArthur Road’ opens in Tokyo

Kyodo

A newly built 1.4-km-long stretch of a loop road opened to traffic in central Tokyo on Saturday.

The new section of the capital’s Loop Road No. 2 runs between the Shimbashi and Toranomon business districts, and will eventually be connected with bay-side areas, according to the metropolitan government.

The two-tier route consists of a ground-based, 40-meter-wide road with broad sidewalks and an underground tunnel for cars.

Construction started in fiscal 2002 and was completed recently at a cost of around ¥270 billion, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.

The Shimbashi-Toranomon stretch of the loop road is dubbed “MacArthur Road” after U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who led the Allied Occupation of Japan after World War II, because it runs near the American Embassy in Tokyo.

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe strolled along part of the newly opened section after the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, before getting in a vehicle and driving along it.

Transport minister Akihiro Ota said his ministry would continue to support the ongoing development of the road, citing its potential as an important access corridor during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which is expected to make tourism soar.