The government approved construction of three new sections of track on Friday as part of a plan to extend Shinkansen services.
Transport minister Yuichiro Hata approved the construction after he and his deputies concluded that all prerequisites for the projects have been fulfilled.
This is the first approval of new Shinkansen tracks in four years, and the first such approval since the Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009.
Construction costs are expected to be about 3.04 trillion yen.
Hata said at a news conference that he is certain the public will approve of the decision even while legislation to raise the consumption tax is under discussion. This is because the projects will move ahead in "an efficient and effective manner," he said.
While the focus of the latest Japan-U.S. bilateral talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multinational trade agreement was whether the two sides could make a breakthrough on such key issues as how to deal with tariffs imposed on pork, no agreement was reached in Thursday's meeting. (The Japan News )
The Tokyo District Court decided Thursday to launch bankruptcy proceedings for bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox Co., after rejecting its application for rehabilitation under court protection from creditors last week. (Kyodo )
Shortly after arriving in Tokyo Wednesday night, U.S. President Barack Obama enjoyed an informal dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a top-rated sushi restaurant in the posh Ginza shopping district. (Jiji Press )
Police in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, admitted Wednesday that they mistakenly arrested a woman in her 20s over her suspected involvement in a blackmail case which occurred in January of this year. (Japan Today )
Tokyo High Court ordered the state and a former Maritime Self-Defense Force officer on Wednesday to pay 73 million yen in compensation for the 2004 suicide of a junior crewman of an MSDF destroyer after bullying by the officer. (Jiji Press )
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )