A panel examining the construction of bullet train networks agreed August 26 to decide by late November which of seven sections of four bullet train lines in the Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kyushu and Tohoku regions will have priority.

The group agreed to first examine the Hachinohe-Shin Aomori section of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, the Nagano-Joetsu section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line and the Funakoya-Shin Yatsushiro of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line.

The panel, consisting of Cabinet members and representatives of the three ruling parties, was formed to decide on the construction plans and to distribute money in accordance with agreed priorities after examining the feasibility of the proposed bullet train networks.

Local governments along the proposed networks hope the national government will start the construction projects, which will improve the infrastructures in their regions and boost local economies through public works schemes. The national government is now experiencing financial difficulties and is implementing changes to reduce its spending.

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