a dam project proposed in 1966 has again been delayed, thanks to the fishermen in Kumamoto Prefecture. Claiming that the dam would affect their fishing areas, they recently rejected a compensation offer from the Japanese government.
Although the Kuma River Fishermen's Cooperative voted 802-620 in favour of taking the package offered by the government, it fell far short of the two-thirds majority required for approval. Those opposing the dam termed the result as a victory to protect "Japan's most beautiful fresh waterways'. Naoto Kan, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, said the central government should abandon the project. Earlier too, the construction of the dam was deferred as the government was unable to resolve the compensation issue with the fishermen.