The Relocation of the Diet and Other Organizations

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Let’s Consider Relocation of the Diet and Other Organizations
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Report of the Council for the Relocation of the Diet and Other Organizations

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Chapter 3: Essential Elements of New City

The new city is expected to represent those elements that symbolize the direction of Japan’s advancement. Therefore, the design of the new city would have to be given due consideration related to the items listed below so that it would befit the 21st century.

(1) Building new information network systems

The new city would have to be built as a city that is, from its very beginning, furnished with an information infrastructure based on state-of-the-art information technology suitable for the information age. This information infrastructure is necessary in order to build a new horizontal information network system that is shared not only by central government offices, but also by local government offices. This horizontal system would replace existing vertical information systems, each of which is used exclusively by one central government office and its subordinate offices. The horizontal system would provide a wide variety of information, which could be shared and mutually utilized, bringing about a vast improvement in the operations of the organizations that are responsible for capital functions. This improvement would include increased policy-planning capabilities and greater administrative efficiency. The relationships among legislators, bureaucrats, and ordinary citizens would advance to a stage appropriate for an age of decentralization and networked computerization, and would lead to improvements in the administrative services available to the public. The nation would strengthen its preparation for and handling of man-made and natural disasters. The new city is thus expected to be the core of an information network system, as seen from both inside and outside the country and to function as a base for encouraging intellectual activities and exchanging a wide variety of information on a world-wide basis.

Information and communication technology is rapidly advancing, but its future cannot easily be predicted. When building and improving the information infrastructure, a major requirement is to endow the infrastructure with as high a degree of flexibility as possible so that it can easily accommodate advancements in technology.

(2) Consideration of the environment

The design and construction of the new city would have to take into account the reality that people are a part of nature. Every effort should be made to introduce diverse types of knowledge and technology to protect the positive elements of our present natural environment and to improve the environment whenever possible. These efforts should ensure the harmony of the new city with the environment while setting an example for the world in the possibilities of incorporating ecological concerns in government policy. The new city should also demonstrate the abilities of conserving energy, recycling waste, and minimizing environmental loads in its own area while contributing to reductions in the environmental loads of other areas and actively attempting to solve global environmental problems.

(3) Functions of city related to international political activities

The relocation of capital functions is also extremely important for Japan as it sets out to serve as a responsible member of international society. The new city would have to be equipped with facilities and functions appropriate for an international political center. Some of these facilities and functions include those required for airport transportation, international political conferences, guesthouses, and an embassy street, which facilitate the mixing of cultures from all over the world.

(4) Majestic scenery

The new city should represent both the roots of traditional Japanese culture as well as what we want Japan to become. It should be a city that all of Japan can be proud of and that would give overseas visitors an opportunity to become interested in Japan and appreciate its many fine points. As the center of a nation’s political activities, the new city should include majestic scenery. As a place for political and administrative activities open to the people, it should have familiar and attractive scenery. Combined with its natural surroundings, the new city should provide scenery worthy of the entrance to a great nation.

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