• Kyodo

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The city of Kawasaki will postpone for about five years a proposed subway project that has met with strong objections from residents, Mayor Takao Abe said Monday.

Abe told the municipal assembly that strained fiscal conditions are the chief reason for delaying the city’s first subway line. He also cited opposition to the project expressed in a survey in May.

“I have come to the conclusion that it is appropriate to delay the start for around five years,” Abe said.

Kawasaki, sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama, is Japan’s ninth-biggest city.

Some 73 percent of the respondents in the survey said they want to see the project either delayed or canceled, and around 16 percent said they would like to see it begin as scheduled in the current fiscal year.

The project, which would cost some 620.5 billion yen, involves building a 22-km subway line from Shinyurigaoka to Kawasaki stations.

Kawasaki, with a population of around 1.28 million, is expecting this fiscal year’s tax receipts to fall 12.5 billion yen from the previous year, according to the mayor.

Abe earlier said he would make a final decision based on the survey.

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