The mayor of Hakodate said Saturday that his city plans to sue the central government and a utility around March to halt construction of a nuclear plant in nearby Aomori Prefecture.

In the lawsuit to be filed at the Tokyo District Court, the Hakodate Municipal Government is expected to demand that the state nullify the approval granted to Electric Power Development Co., better known as J-Power, to build a nuclear plant in the town of Oma, which lies just south of the city across the Tsugaru Strait on the northern tip of Honshu, Hakodate officials said.

Hakodate would become the first local government to file a nuclear power lawsuit against the central government.

The city "would suffer devastating damage in the event of an accident, and it is unreasonable that the plant is being constructed without the consent of the city," Hakodate Mayor Toshiki Kudo said.

Despite the strait, Hakodate is only 23 km away from the plant.

The city plans to argue that it needs to prepare steps to protect residents from a nuclear emergency as it is within the 30-km-radius urgent protective action zone, the officials said.