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The recent decision by the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito ruling coalition on the route for extending the Hokuriku Shinkansen superexpress train service that will eventually connect Tokyo and Osaka via the Sea of Japan coast — with the final section to be completed three decades from now at the earliest at an expense of more than ¥2 trillion — should be flexibly reviewed by comparing its benefits, cost advantage and environmental impact against alternate plans.

After the 222-km Tokyo-Nagano section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line opened in 1997, its 228-km Nagano-Kanazawa section began operations in March 2015, with the fastest service linking Tokyo and the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture in two hours and 28 minutes. Currently, the 125-km section from Kanazawa to Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, is under construction and scheduled to go into service in 2023.

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