"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Hokuriku Shinkansen and the Celebratory Event Commemorating the Opening of the Hapi-Line Fukui Line

[Date] March 18, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

I am Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio.

First and foremost, I offer my sincere condolences to those who lost their precious lives as a result of the recent 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake and I extend my sympathies to all those affected by the disaster.

Today, amidst the extremely challenging conditions that have arisen from the recent earthquake disaster, the Kanazawa-Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen and the Hapi-line Fukui Line have begun operating on schedule, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of those involved. Today's launch of operations will become a light of hope towards reconstruction for those affected by the recent disaster.

With the start of operations today, bullet train services will run through Fukui Prefecture for the first time, and it will be especially thrilling for residents of the local areas to see bullet trains originating from Tokyo Station, with the place name "Tsuruga" proudly illuminated, now head directly to Awaraonsen, Fukui, and Echizen-Takefu Stations.

The Government has selected the Hokuriku area as one of Japan's model tourism destinations for facilitating the creation of high value-added inbound tourism areas. We are focused on enhancing the local area's appeal and attracting inbound visitors. We will leverage the effects of this bullet train line extension to the greatest possible extent and cultivate this area into one of Japan's leading tourist areas.

Moreover, the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen in its entirety, connecting Tokyo and Osaka, will contribute to the forming of our "national axis" of interconnected cities, industries, and infrastructure, which promotes the use of both the Sea of Japan and Pacific sides of our country. It will also help to ensure redundancy in times of disaster. As for the section between Tsuruga and Shin-Osaka, we aim to deepen our examination of various conditions for starting construction and will work to bring about the opening of this line in its entirety at the earliest possible time.

In closing, I wish to express my deep respect for the great efforts made until now by those in attendance today and all those who have been involved in today's launch of operations, overcoming numerous difficulties along the way. I also offer my prayers that the region as a whole enjoys further development because of the Hokuriku Shinkansen.