My thanks to Gary Mawyer for sending me the link to “National Park of Restoration,” an editorial in The Japan Times. These are the first few paragraphs of the editorial:
Natural parks in the Pacific coastal area of the Tohoku region that were devastated by the 3/11 massive earthquake and tsunami will be reorganized into a new, large national park. As a first step, two such parks were designated as the Sanriku Restoration National Park on May 24. Inauguration ceremonies were held in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, and other parts of the region on May 25.
It is hoped that the new national park will promote eco-friendly green tourism in which natural landscapes play an important role in attracting tourists. The government must develop a new national park policy that will contribute to the economic revitalization of local areas through the skillful utilization of nature’s bounty while at the same time taking necessary measures to protect the environment from an increase in the number of visitors.
As the first step to create the new national park in the Sanriku coastal areas characterized by ria coastlines, the Rikuchu coastal national park and Aomori Prefecture’s Tanesashi Coast and Mount Hashikami prefectural park have been integrated into the new park. Kabushima Island in Hachinohe, a habitat for black-tailed gulls that is designated as a special natural treasure by the central government, will serve as a north entry point for the park.
The editorial briefly notes the concerns of local people but continues to support the project:
People in the Matsushima area are concerned that its integration into the Sanriku Restoration National Park may weaken its identity. They are also worried that if the area becomes part of the new national park, restrictions on the construction of new buildings will become tougher.
This related piece has a great photograph.