The opening last March of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line extension to Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, brought the Hokuriku region closer to Nagano and Tokyo than ever before, and similar efforts are underway to connect the region with Kansai.

But with the line's extension from Kanazawa southwest to Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2022, where to build the final link from Tsuruga to Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka is rapidly becoming the hottest political topic in the Hokuriku and Kansai regions, one with far-reaching national implications that could even affect the outcome of this summer's Upper House election.

Once the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line is extended to Tsuruga, the route for the final link to Shin Osaka will have to be decided. At the moment, there are four basic plans on paper, including three that have already received extensive local and national discussion, plus a fifth pushed by a local politician.