‘Mt. Fuji railway’ may become reality as panel to start discussion
TOKYO — The possible launch of a mountain railway from the foot of Mt. Fuji on the Yamanashi Prefecture side to the mountain’s fifth station will be discussed by a panel of industry representatives and specialists, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
The experts and representatives from the tourism and railway industries will launch the panel soon. If a railway can replace the Fuji Subaru Line toll road on the mountain, it will be more convenient and may lead to better protection of the environment through reduced car exhaust and other factors.
The group will discuss technical issues and other topics before presenting a recommendation to the central government and local authorities.
Local chambers of commerce and other bodies have been suggesting launching a mountain railway on Mt. Fuji, but none of the projects materialized. During the summer climbing season, travel by private car is prohibited on the Fuji Subaru Line toll road on the Yamanashi prefectural side, with shuttle bus services available instead.
According to sources, the group will include representatives from East Japan Railway Co. and local business and tourism associations, as well as Shomei Yokouchi, a former Yamanashi governor who is currently chairman of Tsuru University’s board of trustees. They will serve as committee members and in other posts within the group.
The group’s operational members will include Zenko Oda, an operation committee member of the authorized nonprofit organization the National Council on Fujisan World Heritage.
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