Tokyo will continue to shine in the years beyond 2020. In order to establish a model for a sustainable city that can achieve this goal, we will implement a wide range of measures.
Resolving the global issue of climate change can no longer be left up to national governments alone. In a time when over half the world’s population dwells in cities, cities must take the lead and join together to take action. And, Tokyo will stand at the forefront of these efforts.
Last month, at the U20 Mayors Summit, for which Tokyo served as Chair, we held vigorous discussions with major cities of the world on themes such as climate change and sustainable economic growth in order to deliver the opinions of cities to the G20. On the final day of the summit, we adopted a communique containing a strong message from cities, and delivered that to Prime Minister Abe, who accepted it as the leader of the country serving as this year’s G20 Chair. At the summit, I declared that Tokyo would realize its zero-emission Tokyo initiative to contribute to achieving worldwide net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. We will formulate the concrete strategy within the year to achieve this goal and comprehensively implement climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
We have also just set ambitious goals for reducing plastic use and spreading the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and will broadly promote these initiatives. In April, we received an interim report from the panel of experts we established to study waste related issues, which stated that we must drastically change the way we use plastics. Based on the panel’s final report, which will take into consideration the global situation, including regulations on the import and export of plastic waste, we will compile a plastic-use reduction program for the TMG. Concerning EVs, this fiscal year, we have expanded eligibility for subsidies for electric vehicle purchases to include individuals and large corporations. With regard to charging stations, which will serve as the infrastructure for an EV society, in addition to launching subsidies to support installation at locations such as commercial facilities, we will also study charging station installation incentives that seize upon opportunities created by city and town development. We will also launch our own Council to Promote a Zero-Emission TMG. And, uniting TMG-wide to promote this pioneering measure, we will thoroughly demonstrate our initiative as a city with advanced environmental policies to change the world from Tokyo.
RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%), an international initiative in which participating companies aim to source 100% of the power needed to run their business with renewable electricity, is also showing signs of growth in Japan. To add the TMG’s support to this movement, starting in August, we will also switch over to renewable energy to supply 100% of the electricity used by the TMG Main Building No. 1. Yesterday, we hosted an “action meeting” for companies working toward the objectives of RE100 and power companies to have members of the public and private sectors share best practices and visions for the future. Tokyo will take this opportunity to lead and work to further spread the RE100 movement, including calling out to a broad range of companies to encourage them to use renewable energy.
Ensuring the safety and peace of mind of the people, who uphold the vitality of the city, is absolutely key to Tokyo’s maturity and ongoing growth. Last month, at the Urban Resilience Forum Tokyo (URF) international conference that we held in conjunction with the U20 Mayors Summit, we shared lessons learned from past disasters and exchanged opinions on specific measures born of those experiences. And, we promoted to the world the disaster preparedness vision cities should pursue in the form of the Tokyo Declaration, which was adopted at the conference. URF participating cities also agreed on various forms of mutual support with regard to disasters. With this valuable asset of cross-border cooperation, we will continue working to evolve Tokyo’s disaster preparedness measures.
With this year’s rainy season and typhoon season soon to be upon us, we will also fortify our defenses against urban flooding. Concerning the “My Timeline” initiative, which enables residents to create a timeline showing the actions they should take when a disaster strikes and confirm these actions, Tokyo has now developed its own original set of “My Timeline” materials designed for a range of disasters, including floods, storm surges, and sediment disasters. We are working to expand use of the timeline through various opportunities, including the sediment disaster drill that we will jointly host with Hinohara Village this month. At a meeting of the TMG’s council to mitigate river flooding disaster related damage last week, I, along with the mayors of Tokyo municipalities, reconfirmed the importance of minimizing disaster related damage through efforts such as the provision of accurate information on flooding and evacuation. Through the spread of “My Timeline” and collaboration with the municipalities to distribute the appropriate information at the appropriate time, we will contribute to having Tokyo residents take proper action to evacuate when a disaster strikes.
We have started studying the construction of new regulating reservoirs -- a project we decided to speed up in response to the emergency overhaul of measures for disasters that we conducted last fiscal year. In the spirit of “always be prepared,” we will continue to comprehensively promote flood protection measures, from both structural and non-structural approaches.
Automobile accidents caused by elderly drivers have become an issue in society. Through approaches such as ensuring safe driving and encouraging understanding regarding voluntary driver’s license return, we must quickly take action to prevent accidents. As an emergency measure, we have decided to newly provide subsidies for the installation of devices effective in preventing accidents such as attachments that prevent sudden unintended acceleration when the driver accidently applies the gas pedal instead of the brake. And, with respect to the voluntary driver’s license return initiative that we have been working to promote, we are advancing efforts to encourage relevant organizations to further enhance benefits for those who have returned their licenses.
In addition, we will establish a new project team within the TMG tomorrow to develop further measures. We will work across TMG bureaus to devise ideas and broadly study initiatives, including field trials aimed at helping senior citizens get around in areas with poor transportation networks.
Furthermore, to protect children from accidents, we must ensure safety along the routes they use. We will work with the police, municipalities, and others to perform emergency road inspections, and based on those results, we will advance measures that need to be taken. Through such efforts, we will implement measures from multiple angles to eliminate tragic traffic accidents.
In addition to scams and petty fraud cases, heinous crimes, such as armed robbery, are also being committed through the use of “apo-den” telephone scams. In light of such circumstances, we will proactively advance measures to improve public safety in Tokyo, such as promoting the installation of automatic phone recording devices. And, in response to the fact that organized crime groups are still collecting “protection money” from businesses such as restaurants and bars in entertainment districts, we are submitting a proposed amendment to the Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance for Eliminating Organized Crime Groups at this regular session of the Assembly. By designating Tokyo’s major entertainment districts as “Special Improvement Districts for the Elimination of Organized Crime Groups” and cracking down on the provision of “protection” services, payment of money for such “services,” and other activities, we will continue to promote a wide range of initiatives to realize a city where anyone can enjoy feeling safe and secure.
We will aggressively work on a growth strategy to contribute to the creation of new values so that Tokyo and Japan can continue generating growth for the future. To realize the Society 5.0 initiative, which will be key to that strategy, last month, we launched a study panel made up of experts from a wide range of fields, including finance, economy, and information technology, which has started discussions on the vision for Tokyo and the direction for implementation of policies applying advanced technologies. As we receive various ideas that go beyond the framework of government, we will further refine Tokyo’s ability to be truly productive.
For Tokyo to win in the global competition between cities, vitalization of finance, which is said to be the blood of the economy, is crucial. Japan’s first financial promotion organization, FinCity.Tokyo, which will play a major role in realizing the Global Financial City: Tokyo Vision, will finally be launched this week on the 7th. By having the public and private sectors utilize their respective strengths and partner together to effectively promote Tokyo’s appeal as a financial market, we will build the financial network in Japan and abroad, and attract foreign financial companies at an even faster pace.
With regard to tourism promotion, an essential growth strategy for Tokyo, we will advance initiatives that utilize the rich nature of the Tokyo islands. Along with the Ogasawara Islands, Japan also boasts Hokkaido’s Shiretoko, the Shirakami-Sanchi Mountains, and Yakushima Island as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will collaborate with other local governments, who have attractive tourism resources such as these, to promote information through a joint website, hold events for businesses to develop new tours, and work to attract even more tourists using the World Heritage Site brand image.
While advancing tourism promotion that leverages the attractions of Miyakejima Island, where Mt. Oyama creates a unique natural environment and scenery, at the same time, we must also protect the precious nature there. Therefore, following the Ogasawara Islands and Mikurajima Island, we will introduce Tokyo-style eco-tourism to the area. We determined appropriate rules to be implemented, such as identifying areas to be off-limits to tourists, and will conclude an agreement with Miyake Village next week for preparations, including inviting monitors to participate in trial tours, we will launch operations next fiscal year.
Currently, the TMG is also conducting tours to support the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The tours are mainly for tourists who want to visit Fukushima for sightseeing purposes. Now, to expand visits to the area by business travelers, I will meet with the governor of Fukushima Prefecture the day after tomorrow to sign a new agreement. To further support recovery, and as part of efforts to collaborate with regions all around Japan, we will develop model itineraries that include visits to Fukushima for those who come to Tokyo for conferences or other purposes, and enhance efforts to attract MICE (meeting, incentive travel, conference, exhibition/event) visitors using Tokyo and Fukushima’s respective attractions.
Last month, I met with the governor of Miyagi Prefecture, and we agreed to cooperate in the area of waterworks, including provision of technology and expertise by the TMG. The agreement also covered mutual support in times of disaster. From the standpoint of coexisting and prospering together, we will continue to deepen collaboration in various fields with regions across Japan, and by leveraging the respective strengths of local autonomies through advancement of a true revitalization of local economies to create dynamic communities, I hope to contribute to sustainable growth for the entire country.
For town development that supports Tokyo’s sustainable growth, we will work to enhance urban functions utilizing the respective characteristics of each area of Tokyo.
For example, to realize a people-friendly area around Shinjuku Station, which is undergoing redevelopment to become a functional terminal station that is easy for anyone to use, we will start procedures for finalizing city planning within the year. And, concerning Tsukiji, which has great potential as a large plot of land centrally located in Tokyo, we formulated the Urban Redevelopment Policy for Tsukiji in March based on the opinions of Tokyo citizens and this Assembly. In accordance with this policy, while utilizing resources such as the expertise of the private sector, we will greatly bring out the appeal of the area to help maximize Tokyo’s overall value.
Roads, which generate a range of economic spillover effects and will also serve as the foundation for Tokyo to win in the global competition, are the basis for a truly productive Tokyo. The eastbound section of the National Route 357 Tokyo Port Tunnel, which I have repeatedly requested early completion of, opened yesterday. Along with the westbound section already in use, a new road network for the Tokyo waterfront area has now been completed. This week on the 8th, Radial Route No. 5 will open, forming new infrastructure to link Tokyo’s special wards and the Tama area, which will help relieve congestion on Koshu-kaido Avenue and improve access to Rugby World Cup 2019™ and Tokyo 2020 Games venues. To achieve Tokyo’s sustainable growth, we will continue steadily working to complete the city’s arterial road network.
It is extremely crucial that we improve the functions of Haneda Airport to raise Japan’s international competitiveness, as well as for the smooth delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Games. With regard to the change in flight paths proposed by the national government, the TMG has actively cooperated to facilitate steady advancement of discussions with the local communities affected. We have also requested that the national government provide detailed information, and implement thorough measures to address noise and ensure safety. In response, the national government has held five information sessions for residents, and is advancing comprehensive measures such as mandating airlines to take measures to prevent parts from falling off of aircraft. And, last month, it compiled measures to respond to comments from Tokyo residents. I believe such handling by the national government deserves some recognition. However, I will request their even greater efforts to further deepen the understanding of the people of Tokyo and relevant municipalities.