The transport ministry said Friday it plans to drastically increase government subsidies for a new high-speed railway linking central Tokyo and Narita airport in its budgetary requests for the fiscal year starting next April.

The ministry wants the subsidy increased to 33 percent from the current 18 percent, ministry sources said.

The railway is to be primarily built by the Chiba Prefectural Government, various local governments and private companies. It will have total expenditures of 160 billion yen, they said.

The ministry, the prefecture and the local governments are currently discussing the role each will play and the cost each will bear in forming the new company, the source said.

If the plan is approved, the New Tokyo International Airport Authority, operator of the airport, will bear 30 billion yen with the ministry shouldering about 40 billion yen of the remaining 130 billion yen, they said.

The ministry is also urging Chiba Prefecture and local cities, towns and villages to raise their financial burdens from the present 18 percent to 33 percent, the sources said.

After its completion in 2010, the entire operation will be left in the hands of the new railway, according to the sources.

The railway will cut the time required to travel between Tokyo and Narita airport to just over 30 minutes, they said.

Shorter flights

OSAKA — Flight times from Kansai International Airport, in Osaka Prefecture, to Tokyo’s Haneda airport will be cut 10 minutes under a review of flight routes to be effective in late November, transport ministry officials said Friday.

Representatives of 14 cities and towns in the Kansai area earlier in the day approved the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry’s review, aimed at increasing the volume of traffic and improving the convenience of Kansai airport.

Kansai airport has five departure routes — two above land and three over Osaka Bay.

The 16 daily flights to Haneda currently take off over the sea, but will depart over land with the route change, shortening the flight time to about 65 minutes — the same as flights linking Osaka’s Itami airport and Haneda.

Flight times from Haneda to Kansai will remain the same at around 75 minutes.

“On flights for Haneda, we responded to requests by users asking that flight times be around the same as those departing from Itami,” a ministry official said. “There will be more flights over land but there will be no noise problems because they will be at high altitudes.”

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