« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »

2008年5月23日 (金)


05/23/2008 --The Asahi Shimbun, May 22(IHT/Asahi: May 23,2008)

EDITORIAL: The problem with Narita Airport


Thirty years have passed since Narita International Airport opened as the new "gateway to Japan." Serving 35 million passengers a year, it is the world's sixth-largest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. It ranks third in terms of volume of international cargo.


But it is quickly being overtaken by other facilities. In recent years, South Korea, China and Singapore have steadily expanded their capacities in line with the advancement of globalization and the rapid growth of Asian economies.




For many years, Narita operated with a single runway.

That limited the number of departure and arrival slots. It plans to increase the slots by extending the second runway built in 2002 by 2010.

But even then, it would still trail rival Asian hubs.



trail=たどる) (hub=活動の中心)

Although around-the-clock service is common elsewhere in the world, Narita is closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. due to concerns about aircraft noise. This is a major disadvantage.

In about two years from now, a high-speed train will link Narita with Nippori in Tokyo's Arakawa Ward in 36 minutes. The fact is, Narita is still far from central Tokyo.



Globally, moves to build air networks are gathering pace as countries increasingly conclude agreements to liberalize air traffic. In response to these moves, air routes and flights are showing a sharp increase.


At present, there are requests from 40 countries and one region to fly into Narita.

Because of limited slots, the airport authorities have had to turn them down. This is why Japan cannot conclude full-fledged liberalization agreements.




To rectify this situation, we wish to once again propose to make extensive use of Tokyo International Airport in Ota Ward.

The facility commonly known as Haneda Airport is currently the world's fourth-largest airport in terms of passenger volume.

Although most of the flights are domestic, now that bullet train services have expanded across the nation, the role of domestic air networks has changed.




The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stands by the principle that Narita serves international flights and Haneda domestic routes.

As far as international flights are concerned, it has allowed Haneda to only handle short-distance flights to Seoul, Shanghai and other cities--where distances have to be the same or shorter than the longest domestic route--1,947 kilometers linking Tokyo and Ishigakijima island in Okinawa Prefecture.


At long last, transport minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba has pledged to re-examine this regulation in anticipation of an increase in departure and arrival slots with the planned completion of the fourth runway at Haneda in 2010.


Japan must work to attract foreign investment and transform itself into a country where many people and goods come and go.

For that, it needs to enhance the competitiveness of its airports.

We urge Haneda to expand services to Beijing, Taipei, Mumbai and other major Asian cities that are making remarkable economic strides.




Haneda is close to central Tokyo. In this regard, it is comparable to London's Heathrow Airport, which handles more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.


Depending on how flights are arranged, it would be possible to make day business trips to such destinations as Beijing and Shanghai.

This would serve as a driving force for the formation of an East Asian economic bloc.



Another options would be to merge the operations of Narita and Haneda to enhance their functions and efficiency.

All options should be considered to strengthen Japan's competitiveness.



--The Asahi Shimbun, May 22(IHT/Asahi: May 23,2008)

朝日新聞 5月22日号 (英語版 2008年5月23日発行)


« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »

16-My family (私の家族)」カテゴリの記事




« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »