We will ensure that tournament operations, transport, security, and medical systems are fully in place to make Rugby World Cup 2019TM an event that everyone can enjoy with peace of mind. To achieve this, we will ensure safe and smooth movement in areas around venues through special precautions and other measures taken by the Metropolitan Police Department and Tokyo Fire Department, as well as allow the TEAM NO-SIDE volunteers, who will strongly support the tournament, to be at their most effective directing people to venues and providing information on transportation and other matters at airports and stations. Fanzones where anyone can gather will also be set up in Chofu City, which will bustle with excitement as Tokyo’s Rugby World Cup 2019TM venue, and in Yurakucho in the heart of the city. By providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy various types of exchange, and food grown and produced in Tokyo, as well as distributing tourism information on the cities hosting the tournament nationwide via social media, we will encourage those who come to RWC2019 to travel around Tokyo and throughout Japan. Through such initiatives, I hope to have many visitors from Japan and abroad enjoy this “once in a lifetime” Rugby World CupTM in Tokyo and Japan, and wish to guide this event to success as a tournament that is truly memorable for each and every individual.
In order to deliver a successful Tokyo 2020 Games, this summer, which marked one year to go, we rolled out a variety of initiatives to prepare for the actual event. Specifically, to alleviate congestion on roads and crowding on public transport during the Games, we recently implemented the “Smooth Biz” initiative on a large scale with the cooperation of many companies and others. The initiative comprehensively promotes telework, staggered commuting, and transportation demand management (TDM). I am confident that having a broad range of people experience the benefits of telework and staggered commuting will serve as a major impetus to spreading new workstyles. The initiative will not only alleviate congestion and crowding during the Games, but will also facilitate flexible workstyles and a more comfortable commute. We will continue partnering with companies and others to advance this initiative so that diverse workstyles that contribute to securing human resources and raising productivity are firmly established as a legacy of the Games.
To reduce the volume of traffic in central Tokyo, in addition to transportation demand management initiatives, we also tested methods of adjusting the flow of traffic into the city on roads, including the Metropolitan Expressway. Based on the results of this test and other data, last month, we announced proposed expressway tolls designed to disperse traffic on the Metropolitan Expressway during the Games. The plan lowers tolls for vehicles equipped with ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) units that use the expressways at night, while raising the cost of daytime use by private vehicles an additional 1,000 yen. Along with conducting discussions in this Assembly and listening to the opinions of Tokyo residents, we will request the even greater cooperation of companies and other relevant organizations by continuing to provide them with thorough explanation about how logistics efficiency will be improved, how construction will be coordinated, and other matters, and in this way, we will work to strike a balance between achieving smooth transport during the Games and maintaining the economic activities and lives of the people of Tokyo. Moreover, with the aim to achieve a 100 percent usage rate of the ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) system, which helps improve the flow of traffic on expressways, we will conduct publicity campaigns and also urge the national government and expressway companies to speed up initiatives.
At various Games test events launched in earnest this summer, we tested measures to combat the extreme heat expected to occur during the Games, including setting up break areas equipped with the latest mist-generating machines and electric fans. Other measures included handing out folding fans and neck coolers. Field tests, including running the City Operations Centre, coordinating city cast volunteer activities, and establishing first aid stations, were also conducted. We will fully apply the results of these tests to ensure seamless Games operations in severe heat. We are also holding discussions with the Organising Committee, the IOC, and other relevant parties on ensuring water quality at Odaiba Marine Park, the venue for the marathon swimming and triathlon events. In addition to installing three layers of underwater screens, which have been proven effective, the entire TMG will work to implement further measures.
Construction of the Games venues is steadily progressing. This summer, ceremonies unveiling the completed Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre and Oi Hockey Stadium were held. At the one-year-to-go ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, both medal designs were unveiled. We were pleased to have so many people come to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to see the medals on display. Excitement is especially building with respect to the Paralympic Games, with the start of the application period for the ticket lottery last month. With the support of a group established to support the success of the Paralympics and make facilities barrier-free, we will continue to widely publicize the appeal of para-sports. Moreover, while focusing on initiatives to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, including inviting foreign media to take part in tours of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi prefectures, I hope to surge forward to a successful Games with all of the people of Japan and Tokyo.