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Japan rail operator gives up plan to launch maglev train in 2027

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Central Japan Railway said Friday it has given up its plan to launch a new high-speed maglev train between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, amid long-running environmental disputes.

"While we cannot predict the new opening date at this point, we will continue to aim to launch it as soon as possible," the company said in a document released ahead of a meeting of experts at the transport ministry.

The Linear Chuo Shinkansen project is intended to link Tokyo and Osaka with trains traveling up to 500 kilometers per hour. But a small area on the section between the capital and Nagoya has proved a stumbling block for the project, due mostly to opposition by the central prefecture of Shizuoka.

Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu has opposed the project, expressing concerns about its environmental impact, and tunnel excavation work has not yet begun in the area.