Haruo Shimada, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Tokyo Metropolitan University:───
Readers’ Choice Award for the Best Cities in the World held by Conde Nast Traveler, a major luxury travelers’ magazine published in America, Tokyo was voted top for the second year running. How do you feel about the result？
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo:───
Actually Tokyo was voted number one not just in the United States, but also in Spain and a number of other regions. I feel proud that the world values us as a city. I believe that there are good reasons for that appraisal too.
First of all, Tokyo is very safe. And then there’s the delicious food. Washoku, or Japanese cuisine, has been named a UNESCO intangible world heritage, and Tokyo has the most Michelin stars of any city in the world.
We have chosen the phrase ‘Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New’to represent the idea that Tokyo brings together tradition and innovation in a single location.
From immediately after becoming governor of Tokyo, you’ve been engaged in achieving the “Three Cities” of Tokyo?a “Safe City,” “Diversity (Diverse City),” and “Smart City.” Could you tell us a little bit more about that？
Achieving the “Three Cities” of Tokyo has been my pledge since the election campaign. A “Safe City” is a city where everyone is safe and feels secure. Traditionally, Tokyo has been a place with strong local bonds. It’s those ties that help ensure continued safety. Also, as Japan is one of the most earthquakeprone countries in the world, we have made much progress in the earthquake-resistance of buildings in Tokyo.
Next, “Diversity,” or “Diverse City.” For example, about 20 percent of the management positions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are filled by women. That’s the highest percentage of any government office in Japan. In addition, for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, we are placing emphasis on the Paralympic Games to help us prepare for a super-aged society. We wish to realize a diverse city where anybody can actively participate in society and shine.
Finally, we will become a “Smart City” that’s open to the world, and is a global leader in environmental policies and finances. Megacities will play an even greater role from now on in combatting climate change. That is why we are, for instance, teaming up with automobile and motorcycle manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions, and promoting the widespread use of LED lights. In addition, we want to take the initiative in reinstating Tokyo to its position as a financial center and evitalizing the Japanese economy.