Now, I would like to speak about initiatives to connect people with the aim of creating a Tokyo where residents can live vibrant lives with peace of mind.
Measures to respond to the graying of our population, which is progressing at an unprecedented scale and speed, are urgently needed. Next fiscal year, in addition to measures for improving the foundation for long-term care services and securing human resources in the field of long-term care, we will also focus on measures for seniors with dementia, the number of which is expected to continue rising, and measures to prevent the need for long-term care and frailty, a condition marked by overall physical weakness and a decline in daily activities.
For dementia, early diagnosis and treatment is vital. We will establish a system to provide appropriate care from the onset of symptoms, including support for municipality initiatives for early detection and expanded support for patients and families. Concerning the prevention of frailty and the need for long-term care, we will advance efforts such as partnering with convenience stores to prevent malnutrition and implementing programs to educate those 50 and older about these issues. Recently, I attended an event in Nishitokyo City and underwent a frailty check-up with the local residents. I was again reminded of the importance of having each and every Tokyo citizen think about their own health. While promoting proactive local initiatives such as this one, we will take multifaceted measures to support peace of mind in an age with a 100-year life.
Initiatives to support people with impairments in the local community are also necessary. We will support group homes working to improve their organization to admit individuals with serious impairments. And, with regard to child development support centers, we will promote the improvement of systems to support children with impairments in their communities. In addition, for children and students in need of medical care, we will also expand assignment of nurses to school buses of metropolitan special needs schools to provide assistance during the commute if needed. Through a variety of measures, we will create a society where anyone can live a vibrant life within the ties of their community.
While supporting a sense of security in daily life, we will also support the activities of individuals full of ambition. So that anyone can work according to their desire and ability, we will help match senior citizens and local companies, and offer recurrent education to help women rejoin the workforce who left their jobs for reasons such as to have a baby. Under the concept of social inclusion, we also plan on receiving the recommendations of an expert panel in October for the establishment a new ordinance that will support the employment of all Tokyo citizens.
Furthermore, in addition to supporting municipalities that work to provide information and create opportunities for senior citizens who want to be active in the community, we will also hold events that provide opportunities to interact with the community as part of efforts to enhance the lives of as many senior citizens as possible. Tokyo Metropolitan University Premium College, which will open this April as a place for seniors to deepen learning and interaction with others, received many applications from prospective students. We will advance a wide range of measures with the aim to create a Tokyo where all types of people can be active throughout their lives and work as they desire, learn, and shine. Think of how much the motivation of senior citizens will grow just by having a student identification card in place of the name cards and business cards they once used.
We will implement seamless support to realize a city where residents can have and raise children with peace of mind. We will establish a portal site for those hoping to have a baby to provide information for each stage through birth. We will further enhance support for those who hope to have children through measures such as expanding eligibility for subsidies for infertility testing and treatment, as well as expanding support for companies that help employees strike a balance between infertility treatment and their jobs.
Concerning support for child rearing, ahead of eliminating waiting lists for child daycare by the end of next fiscal year, we have again boldly allocated budgets to both advance creation of capacity to secure “quantity” and improve “quality” to enable parents/guardians to entrust their children with peace of mind. We will also implement detailed measures in the area of TMG-certified child daycare centers, including providing nighttime and holiday childcare that considers the diversifying workstyles of guardians. With respect to making preschool education free of charge, Tokyo will develop its own support measures to accompany the launch of the central government’s system, and strongly support households raising children.
We will promote the creation of an environment for community to protect children and raise healthy children. We will promote a series of initiatives called the Tokyo School-Community Project under which we will enhance the functions of programs at elementary schools that provide children with a safe place to spend time after school; station coordinators to promote cooperation between schools and the community; and establish centers for community exchange on the premises of schools. By connecting people in this way, we will broaden learning and experiences for children, and also have this accelerate the active participation of senior citizens in the community.
In order to cultivate our next generation of leaders, with regard to reforming teacher workstyles, we will seek to promote work sharing using the manpower of motivated former teachers and others, and expand placement of external staff to support lesson preparation and vice principal duties. We will also take a varied and multi-tiered approach to reduce the burden on teachers and improve the quality of education. This includes establishing a foundation to secure staff supporting teachers and to handle administrative paperwork that can be uniformly processed as the first such initiative in Japan.
Last week, the Board of Education released the New Action Plan for the Plan to Promote Metropolitan High School Reform (Second Phase), which sets forth new prospects for metropolitan high school reform. Through collaboration with universities and companies to further enhance the content of the education provided and other efforts, we will advance initiatives to raise and promote the appeal of metropolitan high schools, such as having each school undertake strategic PR activities with the aim to become the chosen school of students and guardians.
At the end of this fiscal year, the Board of Education will also formulate the Vision for Education (Fourth Phase) as the basic policy for five years starting next fiscal year. We will advance studies based on the opinions of Tokyo citizens so that the vision will serve as a steady compass to guide us in raising children’s abilities to proactively and creatively navigate a rapidly changing society.
Even as we approach a period of population decline, we will guide Tokyo to sustainable growth by raising productivity and accelerating policies that will lead to active participation in society by a variety of people. To that end, we will now comprehensively and effectively promote initiatives under the collective name “Smooth Biz” for new workstyles, including teleworking and “Jisa Biz” (staggered commuting), and transportation demand management to reduce and redistribute transportation volume.
To spread teleworking, we will further support initiatives undertaken by companies through means such as enhancing expert consulting services and subsidizing the cost of trial programs. Concerning alleviation of road and transportation congestion, last month, the TMG established its own areas of focus in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Games. In addition to compiling the specific content and time of implementation, we will also request the cooperation of companies and others to advance measures. Recently, we gathered with top leaders from labor and business organizations and issued a joint declaration to work together to implement “Smooth Biz.” Through close government-labor-management cooperation, we will establish the “Tokyo Model” for diverse workstyles and corporate activities and establish this as a legacy of the Games.