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3. Realizing a Tokyo that protects the lives of its citizens and generates earnings

The first pillar of this new major reform is to realize a Tokyo that protects the lives of its citizens and generates earnings. Digital transformation, which is proceeding at an explosive speed, will lead Tokyo's economy to "new growth" and we will further enhance Tokyo's presence in the world by promoting the creation of an attractive and strong city that will lay the foundation for sustainable development.

New growth for Tokyo's economy through swift digitalization

Project leading in the establishment of Smart Tokyo

The realization of a Smart Tokyo that utilizes the power of digital technology to improve the lives of Tokyo residents and revitalize the economy is essential for the "new growth" of Tokyo’s economy. As a project taking the first step toward this, we are conducting the trial operation of smart poles here in Nishi-Shinjuku. We aim to widely spread this new infrastructure, which will lead to an improvement in the quality of life of Tokyo residents through communication functions such as 5G and high-speed Wi-Fi, as well as sensors to monitor real congestion and signage to display government service information.

And we are also making precedent efforts to construct a data infrastructure called the Urban Operating System (Urban OS) that will create new value by accumulating and utilizing various information generated in the city. At this time, we have begun supporting private sector projects to develop new services based on the Urban OS in the three districts of OMY (Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho), Takeshiba and Toyosu. Using these initiatives as models, we will accelerate the establishment of Smart Tokyo by gathering the power of the public and private sectors.

To be a world-leading financial center

To once again become Asia's top financial city. With strong determination to achieve this, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has taken a series of unprecedented steps, including the establishment of FinCity.Tokyo, Japan's first financial promotion organization, and a partnership with the City of London. The results of our efforts have had a definite impact: in the latest Global Financial Centres Index (27th edition), we ranked first in Asia and third in the world after New York and London.

Amidst the unstable global situation, we want Tokyo, which draws people, goods, money and information from around the world and also offers a good living environment and public safety, to continue to be chosen by the world as a stable global financial center. The next six months to a year are extremely important for this, and we must move forward with speedy measures, bearing in mind that competition with other Asian cities will become increasingly intense. At this time, in addition to launching Team Invest Tokyo to accelerate the attraction of foreign businesses by industry, academia and government, I would like to further solidify our position as a world-leading international financial city in cooperation with the central government as well.

Aiming to become a world-renowned startup city

America’s IT giants, whose global services are transforming people's lives, were once small companies started by young entrepreneurs. Fostering startups that are quick to grasp the latest needs and create a steady stream of new products and services is essential for Tokyo's further growth. Tokyo recently appeared for the first time in a ranking of cities for its startup growth environment, placing 15th overall and third in Asia, behind Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, the Tokyo Startup Ecosystem Consortium, which aims to create innovation through collaboration that makes the best of Tokyo's urban concentration, has just been selected by the Japanese government as a Global Startup City. With these developments pushing us forward, we will continue to roll out a variety of measures aimed at making Tokyo a world-leading city for startups and vigorously promote new businesses born in Tokyo.

For the promotion of the Tokyo Telework Rules

Telework, which enables flexible work styles and is effective not only in increasing productivity but also as a countermeasure for infectious diseases, will be the driving force behind Tokyo's sustainable growth. Recently, I met with the heads of business and labor organizations and we issued a joint declaration to work together on the promotion of the Tokyo Telework Rules to further establish the practice of telework. Based on these rules, we will work together to have remote work positioned as a management strategy in companies and other organizations and for the implementation of effective and concrete measures.

Building a city that is both attractive and strong

Protecting the lives of Tokyo residents from disasters

The first step toward creation of an attractive and strong city, which will be the foundation for sustainable development, is to realize a city that is resilient to disasters. It has been about a year since a series of typhoons brought record rainfall and windstorms across Japan and left deep scars even in Tokyo. Recently, Typhoon Haishen caused damage in the Kyushu region and many other parts of Japan. Again, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families who had lost their loved ones and my heartfelt sympathies to all those who were affected by this disaster.

To bolster Tokyo’s preparedness against wind and flood damage, we have been taking a wide range of measures, including installing more river-level monitoring cameras, upgrading facilities such as sluice gates, securing emergency power systems, enhancing emergency stockpiles, and advancing the removal of utility poles on the Tokyo islands and elsewhere.

For the solid implementation of lifesaving evacuation, we have been rolling out detailed measures that support the municipalities, such as issuing accurate disaster information, and securing additional evacuation sites, improving living conditions and strengthening infection prevention measures at the evacuation centers, which also take into account the perspective of preventing a complex disaster with the novel coronavirus. These measures will also be reflected in the storm and flood damage edition of the local disaster management plan when it is revised.

Furthermore, to powerfully advance the development of disaster-resilient communities, we set up a liaison council with the government ministries to discuss concrete measures. The council recently released an interim report that includes detailed measures for earthquakes in districts with close-set wooden houses, such as the promotion of reconstruction for fireproofing by resolving issues facing sites with no road access, as well as storm and flood measures, such as creating higher ground and securing evacuation space in the upper floors of buildings.

In such ceaseless efforts to strengthen our defense against disasters through both tangible and intangible approaches, digital technologies will also come to play a major role. We will revise the Tokyo Disaster Management Plan before the end of this fiscal year from new points of view, such as further evolution of disaster response through the use of cutting-edge technologies, and steadily advance initiatives that will protect the lives of our residents from disasters.

Develop the Tsukiji district to enhance Tokyo’s value

With regard to the plan to develop the Tsukiji district to create fresh appeal for Tokyo, in view of the changing circumstances due to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games, we had been thinking about revising the implementation policy for the project to generate dynamism in the area prior to its full-scale development. Because the situation renders it difficult to embark on this project, we have now decided to implement it by integrally recruiting developers in fiscal 2022 who will be responsible for the early-stage and the following full-scale development, in order to draw out more out-of-the-box ideas from the private sector to effectively develop the area. By taking full advantage of the power of the private sector, we will advance urban development that both enhances Tokyo’s value and leads to its sustainable development.

 

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