The government and the ruling coalition parties need to clearly explain how and whether their plan to move up the schedules for construction of unfinished sections of shinkansen networks in Hokkaido, Kyushu and Hokuriku regions will bring benefits that outweigh the additional expenses to taxpayers.

Construction of the planned Hakodate-Sapporo section of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, the Kanazawa-Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen and the Nagasaki-Takeo Onsen section of the Kyushu Shinkansen’s Nagasaki route were put on hold in 2009 due to doubts about their profitability when the Democratic Party of Japan ousted the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito alliance from power.

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