Japan reverses decision to halt Yamba Dam project

GUNMA PREFECTURE, Japan 12/28/11 (PennWell) — A 2009 decision that halted construction of Yamba Dam in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture has been reversed, Japanese news sources report.

The project was halted in 2009 by then-Land and Infrastructure Minister Seiji Maehara when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came to power, as part of the DPJ’s vow to cut dozens of public works projects considered wasteful.
“It’s regrettable the result turned out to be different from what our campaign pledges promised,” said construction minister Takeshi Maeda. “But I made a decision, and it was hard.”

Financing for Yamba Dam has been written into Japan’s 2012 fiscal budget and already includes a 1.8 billion yen (US$23.1 million) allocation for the construction of material storage facilities and an additional $154.2 million for road and infrastructure improvements.

The dam is designed to prevent flooding along the Agatsuma River and will create a 107.5 million ton reservoir in Gunma Prefecture that, when completed, will provide water for four different prefectures and Tokyo.

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