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Thursday, 26th January 2012
In Events In Japan,

Plans afloat to create swimming pool in Osaka river

Plans to turn a 2km stretch of river in Osaka into an international swimming pool have been announced by the Prefecture's governor, Ichiro Matsui.

Should his proposals get the green light, the swimming pool would be created in a section of the Dotonbori river, the Mainichi Daily reported.

The governor made the proposals during a press conference following an assembly of the Osaka municipal and prefectural authorities yesterday (January 25th).

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Matsui said: "I am aware that the river's management right stays with the city of Osaka, not the prefecture, but nevertheless, I wish we could run the pool," the news provider quoted.

In 2015 the district of Dotonbori celebrates its 400th anniversary and governor Matsui announced he would like the project to be completed in time for the celebrations.

It is thought that the pool can provide a boost for public coffers by charging people to use it.

The former Economic Planning Agency director general Taichi Sakaiya, who is now a special advisor to the all-Osaka authorities, added his weight to the plans, saying that as well as generating revenues for the Prefecture it could also become a landmark destination for the region.

However, the plans are far from simple, with many obstacles standing in the way before the dream can be realised.

Despite a series of schemes to try and raise the water quality in the Dotonbori river, it is near to a lot of office and retail premises and the practicalities of having a swimming pool there are unclear.

While authorities have taken steps to raise the oxygen levels in the water and its surface is cleaned daily, there are still high levels of the deadly E. coli bacteria present and it is a long way away from meeting the standards necessary to become a swimming pool.

Meanwhile, in a bid to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear power, the Japanese central government recently announced a subsidy designed to encourage the uptake of renewable energies.

Written by Kimberley Homer



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