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Funds for Kansai Airport

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The Japanese government will funnel funds for Narita and Chiba Prefecture airports into Kansai International Airport Co., sources said Sunday. Channeling some 200 billion yen from Chiba Prefecture airport to Kansai airport is hoped to reduce the debts of Kansai, which the Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation Ministry has estimated at 1.5 trillion yen. Informed sources say this is part of an overall plan to privatize the new Tokyo International Airport Authority, with the government to hold company shares. If true, the first step will be to turn the authority into a special-purpose company by fiscal 2004, through submission of a bill to the regular Diet session, which convenes in January.

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