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Opinions of the Minister of the Environment on the Environmental Impact Statement concerning the Draft New Basic Plan for the Development of Mutsu-Ogawara Area

March 2, 2007

On March 2, 2007, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) submitted the Minister's opinions on the environmental impact statement concerning the Draft New Basic Plan for the Development of Mutsu-Ogawara Area (hereinafter referred to as "the Draft New Plan") to Aomori Prefecture in accordance with the provisions of the Implementation Guideline for the Environmental Assessment concerning the New Basic Plan for the Development of Mutsu-Ogawara Area (hereinafter referred to as "the New Plan").

The environmental assessment concerning the Draft New Plan is considered to provide proper discussion on the consideration for environmental conservation at this stage by comparing alternatives regarding the allocation of facilities.

As the New Plan covers a long period of time, the MOE required that the following items be realized in order to make sure that various environmental conservation measures and their follow-ups will be implemented at each stage of execution of the New Plan:

1. In finalizing the New Plan, properly reflect the results of the environmental assessment, so that environmental impact can be avoided or reduced beginning at the early stages of the implementation of the New Plan.

2. In deciding the specific land use, make adjustments to give proper consideration for environmental conservation by taking into account the results of the environmental assessment and the future trends of facility location.

3. In implementing the projects, make adjustments to ensure proper consideration be given to the conservation of the habitats of important fauna and flora. Moreover, Aomori Prefecture should take the initiative in ensuring proper implementation of various environmental conservation measures.

4. Properly conduct environmental monitoring and release the results. Review the environmental impact at the proper time in the future. Revise environmental conservation measures, and the New Plan itself if needed.

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