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Only four months since the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry froze the planned construction of 18 sections of national highways that it directly manages, it has reversed the decision and opted to begin construction on 17 of the 18 sections.

During last year’s Diet session, opposition forces had pointed out that the ministry’s forecast of future traffic demand was too high. Because of this opposition criticism, the ministry lowered its forecast of traffic demand by 13 percent and based its March 31 decision to freeze construction on a cost-benefit analysis that took into account anticipated shorter travel times, reductions in fuel and other travel costs, and fewer traffic accidents.

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