Central Japan Railway, or JR Central, said on Thursday that it now planned to open the Chuo Shinkansen magnetic levitation line between Tokyo and Nagoya no earlier than 2027, compared with an earlier target of opening the line in 2027.

The change is because it is not clear when the company will be able to start drilling a tunnel at a section in Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu has refused to give approval for the work due to concerns that water resources and the environment will be affected.

The company included the new target in a filing with the transport ministry about construction work between Shinagawa Station in Tokyo and Nagoya Station in Aichi Prefecture.

JR Central President Shunsuke Niwa has previously said that it was difficult to open the maglev line in 2027.

Hisao Sawada, corporate executive officer of JR Central, told a news conference in Tokyo, "It's not that we've given up, but it's that 2027 is difficult at this point."

Sawada said that the timing of the opening of the entire line up to Osaka will also be affected.