December 21(Tuesday)

No. 7 [Transformation] The Isahaya Bay Lawsuit: A Political Decision- Acceptance of the Court Ruling

 

The Prime Minister answers the question, "How have you faced the issue of Isahaya Bay, until you made the decision to change the government's policy?" He discusses the issue while sharing a number of pictures from his past visits to the Bay.

 

 

Narration: A major political decision has been made by Prime
Minister Kan concerning the Isahaya Bay Reclamation Project. On
December 15, the Prime Minister announced that the government would
not appeal the ruling of the Fukuoka High Court calling for the
opening of the floodgates that divide Isahaya Bay for five years.

 

Prime Minister: I have been personally aware of the Isahaya Bay
Reclamation Project, including its problems, from a very early
stage, and have frequently visited the site.

 

Narration: Prime Minister Kan has been deeply concerned about the
Isahaya Bay issue since his days as an opposition party politician.
His questions about the fundamental necessity of the project and
concerns about visible environmental degradation, along with
particular worries about the harm the project might do to the
fisheries industry, led him to head out to sea and observe the Bay
for himself.
 

 

Prime Minister: This project cost 250 billion yen and caused sea
pollution, or rather, the changing of sea currents leading to
pollution at the local fishing grounds. In opening the gates, the
court ruling seeks to improve this situation and investigate the
various adverse effects on fisheries.

 

Narration: Before the beginning of discussion on these issues, as
a politician, one question in particular has always troubled Prime
Minister Kan.
 

 

Prime Minister: There is the fundamental question of whether or not
such a large-scale 250 billion yen project was needed in the first
place. Particularly when I was an opposition politician, I was
maintaining that this was a symbol of wasteful public work. I was
wondering why this project was necessary from the very beginning.
Regardless, and unfortunately, the project went forward and was
completed.

 

Narration: Although the massive project has been finished, and one
cannot turn back the clock, this bold decision made by the Prime
Minister to accept the court ruling and to open the floodgates is
a symbolic event of the regime change that the people of Japan
brought.
What Japan needs now is to move forward. Of particular importance
will be the response of the people farming in the reclaimed land of
the Bay.

 

Narration: The Prime Minister gave the next instruction immediately
after he made his initial decision.
 

 

Prime Minister: I instructed everyone involved to make sure that
the opening of the floodgates does not aversely affect the farmers
of the area and that seawater be guided in such a way so as not to
negatively affect farming.

 

Narration: How can vibrant fishery and agriculture coexist in this
region? Full-fledged efforts for this are entering a new stage.
 

 



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