National

Hanshin Expressway to be closed for up to four days for G20

JIJI

The Osaka Prefectural Police said Monday that it will close almost all major sections of the Hanshin Expressway for up to four days for the June 28-29 Group of 20 summit.

The large-scale traffic restrictions will be put in place to facilitate the movement of the world leaders attending the summit in the city of Osaka.

The police will also impose limits on other roads and conduct checks near hotels and venues. The public is being asked to refrain from using their vehicles in and near restricted areas during the period.

The traffic restrictions will be applied to 10 sections of the expressway — totaling some 160 kilometers — that connect an airport, hotels and venues.

The sections will be closed from early morning to late at night between June 27 and June 30.

The long traffic management hours are necessary because a large number of vehicles will transport summit participants from a total of 37 countries and organizations. Routes for such cars must be kept clear, with many other meetings expected, including impromptu bilateral talks.

According to the police, it is impossible to manage traffic by imposing and lifting restrictions repeatedly on the sections, where around 800,000 vehicles travel daily.

The police plan to announce detour routes. The amount of traffic on ordinary roads is expected to double due to the expressway closures, likely causing heavy congestion.

Aiming to halve traffic during the period, the police are asking local companies and citizens not to use their cars during the four days.

Automobile traffic to and from Kansai International Airport, also in Osaka Prefecture, is also expected to face disruption during the summit period.

Private passenger vehicles may be denied access to the bridge connecting the airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, and the mainland, mainly on June 27 and 29, when many world leaders will arrive or leave.

The police are asking people to reach the airport by using trains instead of buses or their own vehicles.

As inspections and security checks at the airport are expected to be heavy, passengers should arrive at the airport early, according to the police.