- Infrastructure & Transport
Action 61. Positively Regard Depopulation as Opportunities! Implement Policies to Promote Concentrated Living in Regional Cities & Raise Urbanization Rates!
A policy objective in both China and India is to relocate residents of farming and other rural communities into urban areas to raise rates of urbanization. The reason why these countries set “urbanization = depopulation” as a policy goal is because urbanization serves as a driving force for economic growth. Japan’s national land policy into the future should be designed in such a way as to regard depopulation as a positive development and to promote the concentration of people in cities on the basis of achieving goals to develop compact cities.
Action 60. Enhance the Global Competitiveness of Large Cities to Raise the Standard of Japan as a Whole!
London has overtaken New York to be ranked first in the Global Power City Index (GPCI) after significantly raising its scores for the various GPCI indicators on the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics. Tokyo, which is now ranked fourth, should take advantage of its hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games to make it the most attractive and competitive city in the world. Already suffering from a declining population and low economic growth, Japan cannot afford to deny the overconcentration of its population in Tokyo. Rather, it is necessary to adopt a policy to increase the global competitiveness of Tokyo and other large cities as much as possible in order to help Japan grow.
Action 59. Private Sector-led Investment in Transportation Infrastructure Independent from Public Financing!
Much of Japan’s road infrastructure, including the Tokyo Expressway, was constructed between 1955 and 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. This infrastructure is now aging rapidly. If the only funding available to update this aging infrastructure is public funding, the nation’s finances will collapse. It is necessary to make a conceptual shift from “social infrastructure subsidized by taxes” to “transportation infrastructure independent of public financing.”
Action 58. Place Japan in the Center of the Sea in the Growing Asia Region! Restore Japan’s Status as a Maritime Nation!
In school textbooks used when I was a student, the Port of Kobe and the Port of Yokohama were depicted as ports of a leading maritime nation. In today’s fiercely competitive international marine transportation industry, however, Japan is on the decline. This is almost unbearable to watch. While the ports of Hong Kong, Busan, and Singapore have maintained their competitiveness, all Japanese ports have lost theirs. This is attributable to a national policy failure. It is hoped that maximum efforts will be made to enhance the competitiveness of marine infrastructure with the aim of restoring Japan’s status as a maritime nation.
Action 57. Liberalize Entry into Air Transport Industry and Maximize the Vitality of the Private Sector—Improve Airports in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area in Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics!
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow into the largest aviation market worldwide in 2025. The capacity of airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which was a bottleneck in Japan’s aviation policy for many years, has been significantly expanded, with the number of departures and arrivals at Haneda now 447,000 per year and at Narita 300,000 per year. The Japanese aviation policy, which currently emphasizes the balanced development of national land under the condition of capacity constraints, should be drastically shifted toward a competitive policy with emphasis on enhancing international competitiveness.