• Kyodo


Chiba Gov. Akiko Domoto used her first policy speech Friday to repeat her pledge to revisit a reclamation project in Tokyo Bay and to hold further talks on plans for a second runway at Narita airport.

Domoto said in her speech to the Chiba Prefectural Assembly that she will listen to opinions from residents before deciding on the project to reclaim 101 hectares of the 1,200-hectare Sambanze tideland, off the cities of Ichikawa and Funabashi.

Domoto did not specify which parts of the plan are to be reviewed.

The 68-year-old former Upper House member, who took office earlier this month, had repeatedly called for an overhaul of the project.

The tideland, which forms a beach at ebb tide, is host to more than 600 species of migratory birds and 106 species of fish.

Domoto also said her administration must engage in dialogue with farmers who own the land needed for the 2,500-meter second runway planned at Narita airport in the prefecture.

The airport has been a contentious issue since its proposal and construction. Violent clashes before the airport’s opening in 1978 resulted in the deaths of nine people, including policemen.

As activists seeking the closure of Narita airport marched near the prefectural government building to protest Domoto’s pledge to expand the airport’s capacity with a second runway, the governor said a solution should be sought through dialogue to the decades-old row over the airport.

On mounting pressure to open Tokyo’s Haneda airport to more overseas flights, Domoto said long-term planning on international flight demand is needed before a decision can be made.

Since its opening, Narita has chiefly handled international flights, while Haneda has mainly served domestic flights.

Domoto pledged to use her experience as a journalist and a Diet member to develop the prefecture.

About 180 spectators, mostly women, watched from the gallery at the assembly as Domoto made her speech.

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