Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLITT) Minister, Seiji Maehara, has proposed to the Governor of Osaka a plan to transform Osaka Airport into a stock company and integrate it with the offshore Kansai International Airport under joint management. The justification is that the Kansai region's population is too small to justify three airports, and that Osaka Airport's operations inhibit the realisation of Kansai Airport's potential. Mr Maehara stated the rights to operate the two airports in the Osaka region will be sold to the private sector to help trim Kansai airport’s JPY1.3 trillion debts, according to the plan. The merger and privatisation plan indicates the government's willingness to streamline management of the nation's 98 airports.
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