New Haneda flight routes to start March 29
NHK -- Aug 09
Japan's transport ministry has officially decided to introduce new flight routes to and from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to start March 29 next year.

The launch of the routes that will pass over central Tokyo is aimed at allowing more international flights at Haneda ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters on Thursday that relevant municipalities have expressed understanding of the need to enhance the airport's capability. He said he will continue to listen closely to their requests.

He said operation of the new routes will begin on March 29, the start of the summer schedule for international flights.

With the new flight paths, the government plans to increase the number of international landings and takeoffs at Haneda from the current 60,000 to 99,000.

Residents in areas under the new flight paths have been voicing concerns over noise and the possibility of objects falling from planes.

Ishii said the ministry will take measures against noise and falling objects, and provide necessary information to win understanding from as many people as possible.

The ministry must negotiate with airlines on how to allot the extra Haneda slots and carry out test flights to check the safety of the new routes before they officially open.

国土交通省は8日、東京五輪に向けて羽田空港を発着する国際便を増やすため、都心の上空を通過する新ルートの運用を来年3月29日から始めることを決めた。現在、羽田空港へは海側から着陸しているが、新ルートでは埼玉から都心の上空を、ほぼ一直線に高度を下げて着陸することになる。新ルートの運用で、1時間あたり80回だった発着回数が90回に増えるという。国交省はこれまでに住民への説明会を開いていて、石井国交大臣は「地元の理解を得られた」としているが、住民からは落下物や騒音などに対する不安の声が上がっている。羽田問題解決プロジェクトの星野芳昭氏は「結論ありきの検討ではなかったのか。反対・不安の声があるので、必ずしも本当の地元の声を踏まえたものではないのではないか」と訴えている。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Dec 11
Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino accepted the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Tuesday at a ceremony in Sweden for his contribution to the development of lithium-ion batteries. (Japan Times)
Dec 11
A former Japanese defense chief has been shot in the leg near his home in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Sankei newspaper reported on Tuesday citing police sources. (Japan Today)
Dec 11
Russia may be banned from the next two Olympics but the door is open for Russian participation at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games if athletes can meet the rigid criteria laid out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). (Japan Today)
Dec 11
Police referred a 17-year-old high school student and two men to prosecutors on Tuesday over their alleged involvement in the online trading of uranium in violation of Japanese law regulating nuclear materials. (Japan Today)
Dec 10
It might be the most Japanese of political scandals: a furor over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's guest list at a party to mark the annual cherry blossom season. (Japan Today)
Dec 10
Afghan police said Monday they have detained a total of six men in connection with the shooting death last week of a Japanese doctor who was a well-known aid worker in the central Asian country. (Japan Today)
Dec 10
In Japan these days it seems that conservatives want to change things and progressives want to cling to the status quo. An apparently minor, but highly symbolic, example is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government's proposal to change the order of Japanese names when written in the Latin or Western alphabet. (Nikkei)
Dec 10
Empress Masako said Monday she is happy to have completed her duties as part of Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement rituals, and pledged to continue such work and help her husband more for the happiness of the people. (Japan Times)
Dec 09
Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino delivered his Nobel lecture on Sunday in Sweden. Yoshino is one of the three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (NHK)
Dec 07
In a major privacy breach, 18 hard drives used by the Kanagawa Prefectural Government to store taxpayers’ data were auctioned online over the summer instead of being destroyed, prefectural officials disclosed Friday. (Japan Times)