Govt. To Set New Guideline To Remove Utility Poles

Govt. to set new guideline to remove utility poles

Japan's land and infrastructure ministry intends to set up by the end of next March its first guideline to encourage municipalities to remove utility poles and bury overhead cables underground.

The ministry has been calling for such a reform of the utility cable system, but work has been slow. Even in Tokyo's 23 wards, where the project is proceeding most quickly, only eight percent had no utility poles as of March last year.

Typhoon Faxai damaged many poles in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo last month, leaving tens of thousands of houses without power.

The new guideline is to elaborate on such risks of disasters.

The guideline is to ask local government officials to create an environment that helps residents and related companies understand the advantages of removing utility poles.

The ministry also plans to advise city officials to get early consensus among residents about what time of day renovation work should be done.

It plans to work out the guideline in the current fiscal year ending in March.