• Kyodo News

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The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said Tuesday it has picked 43 ports in 32 prefectures for priority infrastructure improvements starting next April.

Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture, Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture and Nakagusuku in Okinawa are among the 43, which were selected from 103 ports designated as playing complementary roles to the nation’s 23 top ports.

The ministry began the selection process last December as part of a drive to eliminate wasteful public works programs, an initiative promoted by and launched by the Democratic Party of Japan when it came to power last September.

Cargo transaction volumes and regional economic importance were the key factors in choosing the ports, along with prospects for future demand, the ministry said.

The ministry is expected to announce its list of ports designated as international freight hubs soon. Officials suggest the port areas of Keihin, which includes Tokyo, Kawasaki and Yokohama, as well as Hanshin, which involves Kobe and Osaka, will be high on the list.

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