KUMAMOTO (Kyodo) Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima told the central government Thursday to cancel its 42-year-old plan to build a dam on the Kawabe River and find a more environmentally responsible flood-control measure for the area.

"The current plan should be totally retracted and a flood control measure not depending on a dam should be pursued," the governor, who was elected in March, told the Kumamoto Prefectural Assembly.

Kabashima's opposition to the dam is not legally binding but is expected to affect the state's position, because it is required to hear local government opinions on such projects.