In opening the fourth regular session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 2016, I wish to again relate my basic stance on future metropolitan administration.
His Imperial Highness Prince Mikasa passed away on October 27. To our deep sorrow, our prayers for his recovery from illness were not answered. On behalf of the citizens of Tokyo, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Imperial family.
Already four months have passed since I took office as governor with the pledge to advance the "grand reform of Tokyo." Tokyo's grand reform entails making metropolitan administration more transparent, always disclosing information, and realizing a government that moves forward with the people of Tokyo -- one that puts the people of Tokyo first. Are all policies and spending truly in the interest of the people of Tokyo? I have engaged in my work with this in mind at all times and have spent my first 100 days in office pushing forward with the task of bringing to light the various issues faced by the metropolitan government.
Metropolitan administration has also been featured prominently in the media almost daily, and the situation at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly has also been attracting unprecedented attention. I believe that it is essential to have as many Tokyo residents as possible take close note of the affairs of the metropolitan government and the Metropolitan Assembly -- to know what was said and what was, and was not, discussed at the Assembly, the political arena most accessible to the citizens; and to know how their tax money is going to be used. I want as many citizens as possible to see and learn what is happening.
Over this 100-day period, the issues that attracted the most attention were, of course, the Tokyo 2020 Games -- the costs associated with hosting the Games -- and the relocation of the Tsukiji Wholesale Market. To make the Tokyo 2020 Games a spectacular event, it is my responsibility as the elected representative of the people of Tokyo to put a stop to the ballooning cost of the Games. Concerning the relocation of the wholesale market as well, rather than giving priority to the decision that was made to relocate by a previous administration, under the belief that it is crucial to confirm the safety of the site, which is the top concern of the people of Tokyo and those associated with the market who are entrusted with our food, and ensure peace of mind, it was my responsibility to inquire into the false information given and incorrect procedures taken.
The lives of the people of Tokyo will continue beyond 2020.
The market must be considered in terms of 50 years and 100 years into the future.
During this time, along with undertaking the challenge of reviewing costs related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and confirming the safety of the new wholesale market in Toyosu, while setting an example for reform by reducing my salary by half, I have also been examining the effective use of our precious financial resources. This included drawing up a supplementary budget of 12.6 billion yen for measures aimed at eliminating waitlists for childcare and reconsidering the plans to restore the Enryokan in Hama-Rikyu Gardens. From the standpoint of putting the people of Tokyo first, we are also reflecting views from local communities and have taken steps such as withdrawing the offer to lease metropolitan-owned land to a Korean school. In the area of making our government more transparent, in order to ensure thorough public disclosure, we have been advancing a system to record requests made by assembly members and other influential people, and proactively disclosing information that had been previously redacted.
We are now entering the stage where we provide specific answers as to how we will resolve the wide range of issues that have been unearthed. In the action plan for 2020 and the proposed budget for FY2017, we will set forth important and worthy policies aimed at creating a "new Tokyo," and will quickly realize them with the support of the people of Tokyo behind us.
The action plan will outline intensive measures to be implemented over a four-year period to achieve the three new faces of our city -- a safe city that is safe, reassuring, and vibrant; a diverse city where anyone can actively contribute; and a smart city that continues to grow as a leading environment-friendly city and a global financial and economic hub. To resolve the challenges faced by Tokyo and generate even greater growth, we will further develop and accelerate the initiatives outlined in the Long-Term Vision for Tokyo, which has guided metropolitan affairs to date, and turn them into policies incorporating new ideas. In the formulation of this plan, Tokyo's vice governors, the director general of the Office of Education, director generals from all of the bureaus of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and I convened many times to hold discussions. A major difference from past policy plans is that the new plan sets forth many more specific policy targets, and draws up clear progress schedules for each. This will allow achievement of targets to be checked and policies to be evaluated after their implementation, for application of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle to make steady implementation of policies more feasible than before. While also utilizing the insights of Tokyo residents collected from public comments, I hope to bring together the wisdom of the entire Tokyo Metropolitan Government and compile the plan within the year. We will have the policies contained in the plan reflected in the next fiscal budget to all possible extent, and quickly move on to the implementation stage.
In addition, in this plan I hope to draw up a bold vision for Tokyo's bright future "beyond 2020." Although there are worrisome factors such as the decline and rapid aging of the population after 2020, we will firmly prepare for such difficulties and present an easy-to-understand, concrete vision for a dream-filled future for Tokyo. This will lead to the design of policies that are more than just an extension of efforts to date and will gain the support of the people of Tokyo who serve as the driving force for these policies. In a 2016 global city ranking announced by a private research institution, Tokyo surpassed Paris, placing third for the first time. I believe that aiming to be a city that always dominates the rankings and is admired the world over is a goal that our citizens can well understand. While cheered on by the Tokyo residents who support us and want to work with us to make Tokyo a better place, we will make strong strides toward a bright future.
In the action plan, while clarifying the specific means to be taken to create a "new Tokyo," we will also firmly deal with immediate challenges at hand. First above all are initiatives to lead the Tokyo 2020 Games to success.
The full agreement of the people of Tokyo and Japan forms the critical foundation for the delivery of a successful Games and the subsequent growth of our city and country beyond 2020. To obtain this understanding, we conducted a review -- our last opportunity to do so -- on three Games venues for which construction costs are especially soaring, and advanced careful and thorough deliberations. Taking into account that the IOC's Olympic Agenda 2020, which emphasizes sustainability in all aspects of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will apply to the Tokyo 2020 Games for the first time, we have just conducted a comprehensive review covering not only venue construction costs, but also aspects such as lifecycle costs and projected post-Games use. And, at a fully open meeting of the four main parties involved in organizing the Tokyo 2020 Games -- the TMG, IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and central government -- held the day before yesterday, we confirmed the following.
Concerning Rowing and Canoe Sprint, it was agreed to use the Naganuma Boat Race Course in Miyagi Prefecture as a pre-Games training camp site, and, while making efforts to reduce costs, construct the venue at Umi-no-Mori (Sea Forest Waterway). With respect to the Swimming venue, although we will build a new Aquatics Centre, we will work to hold down construction costs by taking steps such as reducing the number of seats from 20,000 to 15,000. Concerning the Volleyball venue, we will sort out the issues associated with holding events in Yokohama, while at the same time further examine from a variety of perspectives the prospect of constructing the venue in Ariake. Based on a comprehensive assessment we hope to reach a final decision by Christmas.
Although we reported that we aim to cap costs for the Games at 2 trillion yen, while continuing to work together, the four parties will strengthen governance at every stage of planning, budgeting, and execution for further reduction of costs.
In order to realize the concept of the "Games for Recovery," we will hold some competitions and other Olympic-related events in the areas that were affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. We will encourage efforts to attract pre-Games training camps to these areas, and will have the Olympic and Paralympic flags tour Iwate, Miyagi, and Kumamoto, in addition to Fukushima, which I visited last month. We will continue to support recovery so that we can show the whole world how well the affected areas have recovered.
In addition to the Games for Recovery, we will also call for support by the people of Tokyo and Japan for the "mottainai" and "athletes first" concepts, and make firm investments to ensure that all of the athletes can fully demonstrate their abilities and skills, and to leave a legacy that will long be appreciated by all, and in this way, lead the Games to success. I wish to present a Games that will serve as model for this festival of peace to continue on for years to come.
One more challenge that we must move forward with is the issue involving the relocation of the Tsukiji Wholesale Market. We announced our second self-assessment report on the problem of the "underground space" at the new location for the market at Toyosu last month, and clarified the responsibility of those in charge of the wholesale market at the time. We recently took disciplinary action regarding how the project was handled, including the decision to not cover certain areas with clean soil, which was done without following the required procedures. To take "responsibility" for the way this situation was handled, I would like to request a further cut in salary. With the implementation of such strict disciplinary measures, including that for the incorrect explanations given to the Metropolitan Assembly, I would like to close this stage of the issue, and proceed in conducting appropriate and level-headed discussion and making judgments on how the market should be, by giving full priority to ensuring the safety of the food consumed by the citizens of Tokyo.
Once scientific verification of the safety of the site and environmental assessment reviews are completed, we will make a decision on relocation from a comprehensive perspective, which includes the sustainability of the new market. Therefore, we estimate that the environment for relocation will be ready in winter of next year at the earliest, although this will depend on whether there will be a need for reassessment. Many of those affiliated with the market are bearing specific burdens such as through capital investment in the new Toyosu market. As the person responsible for the metropolitan administration, I take the fact that we have caused them great anxiety very seriously. At the same time, however, I believe these procedures are steps that definitely need to be taken to ensure food safety and to create an environment where everyone can rest assured in doing business. I sincerely request the understanding of everyone involved.
With regard to the pressing issue of compensating those affiliated with the market, starting from the end of this month through the beginning of next year, an examination board made up of lawyers and other experts will draw up a fair and objective compensation scheme. Until compensation is given, the TMG will sincerely devote itself to alleviating concern by offering support such as through emergency loans for which interest and guarantee fees are fully covered by the TMG.
Solving the wholesale market relocation issue. Making the Tokyo 2020 Games a success. Having each and every policy bear fruit to realize the "new Tokyo." None of these goals can be achieved without obtaining the understanding of the people of Tokyo. We will steadily engage in metropolitan government reform to restore their trust, which is at the foundation of such understanding.
The most important tool to advance reform is the thorough disclosure of information. Information disclosure is not only the crucial first step to restoring trust; if the wisdom of the private and public sectors is gathered through its advancement, it will lead to quick engagement in a broad range of issues and also heighten expectations toward our government. With respect to drawing up the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, by hearing the opinions and requests of the members of this Assembly, various organizations, and others in an open environment, we will reflect the voices of the people of Tokyo to the fullest extent possible, and advance the process of making our administration more transparent. We will discontinue the seito fukkatsu yosan system heretofore taken to reserve funds for projects not included in the original budget draft. Last month, we also launched a new "whistleblower system" to ensure operations are carried out properly. Lawyers serving as the point of contact for this system will also take reports from the citizens of Tokyo.
In addition, the bureaus have already identified over 300 areas in which they can autonomously advance reforms, and are undertaking forward-looking studies on matters such as systems to reflect the opinions of young employees in the formation of policies and improvement of operations. Along with announcing the progress of these efforts, going forward, I hope to promote initiatives that are one level higher, including self-inspections for policy and program review. I have also received many suggestions, including proposals for improving work duties, in the "suggestion box" we established to enable TMG employees to submit their opinions directly to me. By advancing information disclosure and autonomous reform while continuing to cultivate a reform mindset throughout the TMG, I hope to regain the trust of the people of Tokyo one step at a time, and realize a government that moves forward with the people.