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.
Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press )
The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today )
The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a "celeb NEET," meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News. (Japan Times )
The proportion of single nonregular Japanese male workers in their 20s who have girlfriends stood at 18.7 pct in 2012, against 30.7 pct for regular employees, a government survey revealed Thursday. (Jiji Press )
Police in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday night arrested a 24-year-old unemployed man over four knife attacks within 10 minutes that left one man dead and three others injured on a street. (Japan Today )