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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's a start

The editorial in today's Daily Yomiuri http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20060919TDY04006.htm was about the submitting of a report in Tokyo concerning somthing that is long overdue. Namely, the transfer from above to below ground of the section of the Shuto Expressway that shrouds the Nihombashi bridge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihonbashi. Though the plan is still some ways from fruition, it's an encouraging step. For too long in this part of the world, places of cultural or historic importance that were able to survive the wrecking ball still often ended up having to share space with modern-day development projects. It's hard to imagine a freeway being built over the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA, but that's exactly what happened in Nihombashi. Another example is the ugly power station to be found in the otherwise scenic Matsushima Bay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsushima_Bay. Taiwan certainly isn't immune from this either, as the nuclear power station located in Kenting shows http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenting

Hopefully, the Nihombashi project will be the first step in a long-overdue effort to correct some of the mistakes from the post-war period. Now, if the Japanese and Taiwanese governments can finally get around to start burying all those unsightly power and phone lines...

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