Next, I will speak on measures aimed at creation of a more “mature” city where all people can live with peace of mind and lead active lives.
Two days ago, in Tama City, we conducted a disaster response drill based on the scenario of a massive earthquake directly striking the Tama area. To protect our lives and assets from disasters that can strike us at any time, Tokyo must constantly improve the efficacy of disaster measures with the cooperation of its residents. We have also revised the earthquake version of the Local Disaster Management Plan, which sets out disaster mitigation, emergency response, and restoration measures, to reflect the latest developments in earthquake measures. The revisions are made from multiple perspectives, including concrete measures that draw on lessons learned from large-scale earthquakes in recent years and measures that take in the views of women, foreigners, and others who may need special consideration. Under “The Principles, Objectives and Basic Policies for Urban Recovery,” recently formulated for swift and systematic post-disaster recovery, and guidelines for seamless implementation of measures from disaster mitigation to recovery, we will bolster Tokyo’s comprehensive disaster management capabilities.
In addition, we will advance preparations for the “Disaster Preparedness Tokyo Picture Book" (Tokyo Bosai Ehon). The booklet targets families with small children to help parents and children learn about disaster readiness together. By featuring a favorite character, Hello Kitty, and making the content enjoyable for both children and adults, we hope to further promote family disaster preparedness.
The key to saving people's lives from sediment disasters caused by typhoon, torrential rain, and other disasters is speedy evacuation. We have been designating sediment disaster hazard areas at an accelerated pace to enable Tokyo residents to take actions for evacuation in an emergency. As a result, about 15,000 such areas will be designated by the end of this month. In addition, through such initiatives as the popularization of “Tokyo My Timeline” and the holding of seminars in local communities on preparedness for landslide disasters, we will work to further raise Tokyo residents’ awareness of disasters.
As a safety measure to address the social issue of automobile accidents by elderly drivers, we have started from this July to provide subsidies for installation of safe driving assist devices with the cooperation of related organizations. We are receiving many inquiries and applications, and we welcome continued utilization of the scheme by many more people. Also, in order to eliminate tragic traffic accidents, we will steadily advance initiatives such as encouraging voluntary driver’s license return and ensuring safety along the school routes children use in cooperation with municipalities and other organizations.
We will also promote safety measures for bicycle use. In recent years, traffic accidents caused by bicycle users are increasing, and there have been cases where the offender has been ordered to pay large sums of compensation. Now, based on opinions from experts and suggestions from the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, we have proposed an amendment to the ordinance to make it mandatory for bicycle users to take out liability insurance. We will further promote awareness of the rules and manners of bicycle users and create an environment in which victims can receive appropriate relief in the event of an accident.
Last month, based on discussions at the experts’ meeting, a draft plan of the “Crime Victims Support Ordinance (tentative)” was announced to further advance support for crime victims and their families. In addition to providing consultation and mental and physical support, we will continue to deepen our discussions on the unique challenges that Tokyo faces, such as how to support foreign residents and visitors from other prefectures and foreign countries.
Under the concept of “social inclusion,” we are extensively examining, with suggestions from experts, a new ordinance supporting the employment of Tokyo citizens to ensure a society where everyone can play an active role. At the end of last month, we announced the basic approach of the new ordinance, such as providing comprehensive support to all Tokyo citizens who wish to work, and promoting the establishment of so-called “social firms,” where social enterprises accept people with disabilities and others who have difficulty finding employment. We will continue to work toward the realization of a society in which no one who wishes to work is left behind and people can work in ways that suit their character and abilities, and we aim to propose this ordinance at the Fourth Regular Session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly 2019.
Since I assumed the office of governor, the number of children using the daycare services as of April 1 this year has increased by about 47,000, and the number of children on the waiting list has decreased by about 5,000. These numbers indicate that the number of people, especially women, who are raising children and working have greatly increased and are enhancing the dynamism of Tokyo. The “NEW CONFERENCE” meeting of female business owners, which was held last year, will be expanded to have about 1,000 participants this November. We will spread the message of women shining at the forefront. At the same time, we will further accelerate and expand the movement of women's empowerment by launching a new conference in cooperation with female heads of local governments throughout the country.
We will realize an inclusive society where everyone respects each other and create a city that respects diversity. Under the principle of the so-called Respect Human Rights Ordinance enacted last fiscal year, we announced last month a draft of the “Basic Plan on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation,” aimed at promoting the understanding of gender diversity. We have established four pillars of measures including enhancement of the consultation and support system, and promotion of awareness and education, and based on opinions from Tokyo residents, we aim to formulate the plan within this year. While embracing those who cannot speak out as well, we will continue to advance measures for necessary support and promotion of social understanding.
Regarding a barrier-free society, which should be a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the amended “Barrier-Free Building Ordinance,” the first in Japan to set down criteria for rooms in accommodation facilities so that they are more conveniently accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities, will take effect from this month. We will further enhance the environment for user-friendly accommodations by continuing to support related businesses and sending out barrier-free information.
On the Toei Subway, following the Mita and Oedo lines, installation of platform doors was completed last month at all Shinjuku Line stations. In addition, to make railroad stations even more barrier-free, we will expand subsidies by advancing study on a “priority development approach,” in which the structure of the station and its surrounding characteristics are considered while incorporating the suggestions of disabled persons and academic experts. We will continue to advance barrier-free design from both tangible and intangible aspects, and realize a city where everyone, including people with disabilities, the elderly, and people with children, can have a pleasant stay and move around smoothly.
We will actively roll out policies to nurture our children to build a bright future. At the Council for Educational Affairs meeting held last month, we shared best practices and engaged in meaningful discussions about how to employ ICT in education under the theme of School Education in the Society 5.0 Era. The Board of Education will further accelerate the vision for ‘Smart Schools’ in which advanced technology is actively used in education, and in this way, we will continue to develop each student’s abilities to the fullest extent in preparation for an age where use of AI and big data are ubiquitous.
We will also enhance opportunities for students in metropolitan high schools to learn about international cooperation and contribution. Last week, 17 student representatives from schools designated to promote volunteer activities went to Vietnam. Aside from volunteer activities there, they experienced exchanges through traditional culture, Para-sports, and other activities. Through initiatives such as these, we will have students cultivate the capacity and abilities essential for a rich global mindset and social contribution.
Stable housing is also essential to children’s healthy development. Regarding the scheme that allocates metropolitan housing units to young couples and families with children on a limited duration tenancy, we have presented at this regular session a proposal to amend the current ordinance to extend tenancy from the current maximum of 10 years to until the children complete high school. We will advance the formation of an environment where anyone can rest assured about having and raising children, such as by also including single-parent families in this scheme.