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Wednesday, 4th July 2012
In General Japan News,

Tokyo 'should hand urban functions to Osaka'

Some of Japan's "urban functions" should be shifted from Tokyo to Osaka to reduce the burden on the capital city, according to governor Shintaro Ishihara.

Osaka is the second biggest metropolis and business centre in Japan, and the Tokyo governor believes that together the two cities could improve the organisational structure of the country.

Governor Shintaro made the proposal at the World Cities Summit in Singapore this week, arguing that Tokyo and Osaka could operate efficiently in the future because a superfast maglev train will link them together, the Japan Times reported.

"Tokyo is a city where too many urban functions are concentrated and it's high time for us to think about reasonably dispersing them," the news provider quoted him as saying.

The Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) plans to begin building a maglev train line between the two cities in 2014, though it is not expected to be completed for more than 30 years.

When a full service is up and running, it is thought that it could connect the two metropolises in just over an hour, with the trains hitting a staggering top speed of 505kph.

If JR Tokai built a perfectly straight track from one city to the other, it would be 396km in length.

Written by Mark Smith

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