• Jiji

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Central Japan Railway Co. President Shin Kaneko on Wednesday vowed to put the firm’s ultrahigh-speed magnetic levitation shinkansen line into service as soon as possible, despite a delay in construction work.

The company, better known as JR Tokai, has been unable to restart preparatory work in Shizuoka Prefecture for an underground tunnel for the maglev line, due to opposition from local communities in the prefecture.

The new train line will initially link Tokyo and Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture.

“Even if it is difficult to start operations (of the line) in 2027 (as planned), we will aim to do it as soon as possible,” Kaneko said at a regular news conference in Nagoya.

Discussions between JR Tokai and Shizuoka Prefecture have stalled due to local concerns over the possibility of the tunnel work leading to a decrease in the amount of groundwater flowing into the Oi River in the prefecture. The stalemate has left the preparatory construction work for the tunnel in limbo, making a postponement in the launch of the line all but certain.

The maglev shinkansen line is slated to be extended to Osaka at a later date.

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