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Subsidies for fixing aging infrastructure to get revamp

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The land ministry plans to revamp in fiscal 2018 its subsidy system for large-scale repairs and rebuilding of aging road bridges and tunnels by prefectural governments and ordinance-designated major cities, informed sources have said.

Through the improvement of the subsidy program, the ministry aims to urge local governments to work proactively to prevent accidents that could happen due to the aging of infrastructure built during the country’s high-growth period after the end of World War II, the sources said.

Under the system, launched in fiscal 2015, 55 percent of the costs for local governments’ projects to repair and rebuild aging bridges and tunnels is covered with subsidies in principle.

Eligible for the subsidies are projects each worth ¥10 billion or more for bridges and tunnels on roads managed by prefectural governments and ordinance-designated cities, and those worth ¥300 million or more for facilities on roads managed by municipalities other than the major cities.

For prefectures and ordinance-designated cities, the ministry will reduce the size of eligible projects to ¥1 billion or more for repairs and to ¥5 billion or more for rebuilding, as no such local government has used the financial support system, the sources said.

The eligibility threshold for projects by municipalities other than the major cities will be kept at ¥300 million, the sources said.

In December 2012, nine people were killed in the collapse of concrete ceiling panels of the Sasago Tunnel on the inbound lanes of the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture.Speech

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