• Kyodo

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A group of residents in Shizuoka Prefecture are preparing to seek a court injunction to stop Central Japan Railway Co.’s maglev project, officials of a local civic group said Saturday.

The railway, known as JR Central, is already facing opposition from the Shizuoka Prefectural Government and recently gave up on its original plan to launch the high-speed train line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027.

With a top speed of 500 kph, the line’s magnetically levitated trains would whisk riders between the two cities in just 40 minutes, or less than half the time required by today’s shinkansen. But residents are concerned tunneling work in a mountainous area will alter the flow of groundwater, lowering the water level in the Oi River, which passes through a central part of Shizuoka that is known for its tea and oranges, the officials said.

Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu has refused to approve construction work for the ¥9 trillion ($84 billion) project, citing the potential for environmental damage.

Other lawsuits against the project filed by residents near the planned line are pending.

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