Aichi Prefecture officially told the central government Tuesday that local authorities will drop their plan to turn Nagoya’s Fujimae tidal flats, the nation’s most popular stopover for migratory birds, into a garbage landfill.

In a phone conversation with Transport Minister Jiro Kawasaki and a Tokyo meeting with Environment Agency chief Kenji Manabe, Aichi Gov. Reiji Suzuki informed the two government organs that the plan will be abandoned.

Kawasaki announced later Tuesday that his ministry, the prefecture and the city of Nagoya will set up a committee soon to determine within two months an alternative site for the planned landfill. Among locations now being considered is Port Island off Nagoya port — a man-made island constructed from silt dredged to make Nagoya Bay accessible to large ships.

Referring to the reclaimed island, Kawasaki said, “There is no specific plan at this moment. But if there is no alternative, (Port Island) will be the one.” Kawasaki offered the possibility of using the island on condition that the prefecture and the city coordinate relations with other municipalities involved.

The Fujimae dump plan, first proposed in 1984 and scaled back following local opposition, called for 46.5 hectares of the Ise Bay tidal flats to be allotted for the disposal of the city’s garbage.

The city’s plan to use the tidal flats quickly went downhill after the Environment Agency officially nixed the idea in mid-December.

According to Monday reports, Nagoya city and Aichi Prefecture decided to scrap the plan, with the governor’s pilgrimage to Tokyo making it official. “The birds, the plover and snipe that use the wetland as a place to rest are probably the happiest,” Environment Agency chief Manabe said in a news conference after meeting with Aichi Gov. Suzuki.

The prefecture has consulted with the city of Nagoya and decided to scrap the project, although the city assembly still has to officially retract a decision passed last year endorsing the plan, Manabe said.

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