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Japanese Gov't to Allow Private Sector to Utilize Space Above, Below Roads
Source: breitbart.com
Source Date: Sunday, October 03, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Japan
Created: Oct 10, 2010

The land ministry plans to ease regulations to allow the private sector to utilize the space above roads and underneath elevated ones starting as early as in fiscal 2011, ministry sources said Sunday.

The move is aimed at making use of open space above and below roads to obtain private sector capital amid the tight fiscal situation so that the funds can be spent on maintaining aging roads, the sources said.

The ministry will launch a panel of experts possibly later this month to review related laws and regulations and begin compiling a framework that would enable the central and local governments, as road administrators, to collect fees from companies that use the space that will be newly available, they said.

From late June to the end of July, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry gathered project plans for use of road space and received ideas such as constructing a commercial building that straddles a road and setting up goods shops underneath elevated roads.

The use of space above and below roads is currently limited due to the road law and other rules, and the ministry's growth strategy panel proposed in May opening up such road space for commercial use as a method to spur growth without increasing spending.
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