Hokkaido environmental group opposes IR bid

The Hokkaido Nature Conservation Society has come out against an IR bid from within the prefecture, arguing that it could damage the region’s precious natural environment.

In an appeal presented to the prefectural government by a delegation led by Chairman Kazunori Arita, the group called for Governor Naomichi Suzuki to reject the plan for an IR at Tomakomai.

They assert that building an IR at Tomakomai would be a potential violation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, as the area is home to many birds including some endangered species, especially around Lake Utonai. They added that the people of Hokkaido should be able to enjoy nature as it is, and that this is incompatible with a large-scale IR development.

The prefectural official who accepted the letter commented in response that he understood that the government has a responsibility to protect the natural environment and would convey the message to the governor.