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Transport minister Seiji Maehara indicated Monday his wish to turn Tokyo’s Haneda airport into a hub for international flights, an idea that, if realized, would represent a major shift in the government’s longstanding policy of routing most Tokyo-bound international flights to Narita airport.

Maehara disclosed the proposal in remarks to reporters after meeting Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto, who asked the central government to step up investment to turn Kansai International Airport, serving Osaka, into a hub airport. Maehara fell short of meeting Hashimoto’s demand for Kansai airport.

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