National

Ceremony held to mark start of construction of new station for Fukushima's J-Village soccer center

JIJI

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for a new railway station that is to be constructed adjacent to the J-Village national soccer center in Fukushima Prefecture.

The station is due to open in April 2019, in line with the full reopening of the soccer center, located in the Fukushima towns of Naraha and Hirono.

“In order for our region to be revitalized and become a new and attractive area, I hope that the reopening of J-Village and the building of the new station will make substantial contributions,” Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said in a speech during the ceremony.

The station straddling Naraha and Hirono will be used only when events are held at the soccer center, which is a two-minute walk from the station.

The platform will be long enough to accommodate 10-car trains.

Opened in 1997, J-Village was used as a training field for Japan’s national team.

Following the March 2011 nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, the center served as a disaster response task base. Work to restore the facility began last year.

It will be used as a training camp site for the Japanese men’s and women’s soccer teams ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Railway station construction is estimated to cost ¥1.5 billion, one-third of which will each be paid by a group of eight municipalities in area, Fukushima Prefecture and East Japan Railway Co.

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