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The government and the three ruling parties agreed Monday to begin construction of new sections of shinkansen tracks in the Hokuriku and Kyushu regions at a cost of 2.5 trillion yen to the central and local governments over roughly 12 years.

Despite rising public criticism against the government’s snowballing debts and unnecessary public work projects, the government and ruling coalition decided to budget for new shinkansen stretches for the first time in four years.

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