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6. Tokyo, where people shine

People are the source of urban dynamism. In order to build a society where people can actively take part in society in their own way, and which will continue to grow toward the future, we will advance initiatives for realization of a Tokyo where people shine.

Building a Tokyo where the perspective of children are valued

Children are priceless, full of possibilities, and are truly the gems of society. We want to fill Tokyo with smiles by nurturing this treasure under the care of the whole of society, and have all children grow up uninhibited, while holding dreams and hopes. With these thoughts, we placed the “strategy for putting smiles on the faces of children” as the first on the agenda of Future Tokyo: Tokyo’s Long-Term Strategy. For example, measures for children on the waiting list for daycare, an initiative I had been putting great effort into, is steadily bearing fruit. When I took office as governor in 2016, Tokyo had 8,466 children on the waiting list for daycare, however, this year it is expected to be under 1,000 children based on preliminary figures as of April 1st. Going forward, we will take every measure possible for the healthy growth of children while supporting households raising children in addressing the various difficulties they face.

The Basic Ordinance on Children proposed by members of this Assembly was approved at the preceding first regular session. Respecting the rights of children. Placing top priority on the happiness of children under any circumstances. Taking these thoughts contained in this ordinance firmly to mind, we will build a Tokyo where children are placed first. To realize this agenda, we have developed a metropolitan government-wide system to broadly examine policies related to children. While deepening discussions at the Advisory Board for the Future of Children, which was established to lead Tokyo’s policies for the children, we will take the initiative in formulating measures that take the perspective of children.

Supporting the development and growth of children

We will realize the Tokyo Education Model that calls for acknowledging the individuality and abilities of children and to support their growth as a society-wide effort. In an effort to strongly advance the digitalization of education, which is the pillar of the Tokyo Education Model, we will complete the installation of wireless LAN at all metropolitan high schools by the end of this fiscal year, one year earlier than planned. In order to facilitate the FY2022 introduction of the CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) method, a system in which students purchase computers or devices as designated by the schools to implement unique educational activities, we are currently studying related issues, including how aid should be given to the guardians for the purchase of these devices. Through these initiatives, we will steadily advance learning that will develop each children’s abilities to the maximum.

We have decided to establish an immersive English education facility in the Tama region in order to develop global talent who can fly out into the world from Tokyo. From perspectives such as location that will make it easier for many children and students to use, we have decided to open the immersive English education facility inside a mixed-use commercial facility near Tachikawa Station. We will steadily make preparations for its opening within the next fiscal year.

Revision of the Comprehensive Plan for Promotion of Gender Equality

In the cross-country comparison of the Global Gender Gap Index released at the end of March, Japan saw almost no change from last year, ranking 120th out of 156 countries in the world. I fear that Japan will never be able to catch up with the world if we accept this as the norm and do not realize how abnormal it is from a global perspective. Throughout the ages, it has always been people who carved out the future. And only when the perspectives of women and other diverse members of society are reflected in decision-making and other various areas, can we have cities comfortable for everyone to live in. We have started revising the Comprehensive Plan for Promotion of Gender Equality based on such thinking. We must address new issues surrounding women that have emerged against the backdrop of COVID-19, such as greater household and child care responsibilities as they spend more time at home and unstable working conditions. With two concepts, “changing awareness” to promote behavioral change and the “development of social systems” as pillars, we will deepen our discussion on the Comprehensive Plan for Promotion of Gender Equality from a multilateral perspective.

A Tokyo where senior citizens can continue to lead vibrant lives

Realizing a Tokyo where the elderly can continue living in their familiar communities and can lead vibrant and fulfilling lives with the support of the community. Standing by such a philosophy, we formulated a new version of the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Welfare Plan for Senior Citizens at the end of March. While maintaining a medium- and long-term perspective that takes into account the fact that the first generation of baby boomers becomes 75 in 2025 and the second generation turns 65 in 2040, the Health and Welfare Plan also lays out measures that consider the current COVID-19 situation. To prevent senior citizens from requiring long-term care and developing frailty, which is one of the priority areas of the Health and Welfare Plan, we have launched projects that support the elderly in non-face-to-face interactions via online tools and face-to-face activities with infection prevention measures in place. Precisely because this current situation makes us all vulnerable to anxiety or stress, we will support senior citizens in their activities so that they can maintain connections with people and their physical and mental health.

Realizing work styles that enable everyone to shine

As there is no sign of recovery in sight for the labor market, we will roll out employment support for those facing difficulties such as the employment ice age generation and those whose employment has been terminated. We have launched an initiative called Tokyo’s version of the New Deal that aims to create jobs for more than 20,000 people through such measures as identifying companies that have a strong desire to hire even in the midst of COVID-19 and providing full-time employment opportunities at the end of a trial employment period. We will steadily implement these measures to secure stable employment.

Furthermore, with regard to social firms which the TMG certified for the first time in March, in order to further expand such firms, we have started calling for business operators newly interested in becoming TMG-certified social firms. These social firms, where single-parents, people with impairments, and others disadvantaged in the labor market take on active roles according to their individuality and abilities, symbolize diversity. By widely communicating this social significance of the social firms and the vibrancy of the people working there, we will promote the understanding of the residents and business operators of Tokyo, and thus further expand the circle of social inclusion, where people support one another.