Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yoichi Masuzoe, the new Governor of Tokyo who dreamed of Baron Haussmann

 Governor of Tokyo Monsieur Yoichi Masuzoe

It's done!

Being the only westerner in a press conference in Japan with the national and international media is always an interesting event, and Wednesday Feb 12 at 13:45, I was at Tokyo Metropolitan Government inaugural press conference by Governor elected Yoichi Masuzoe, 65 years old, facing the crowd of journalists and cameras. He looked confident and more humble, say, witnessing the amount of work ahead, than the last time I met and talked to him about a week ago while he campaigned.

His mission gives him a huge responsibility, his city has the world biggest budget and his programme, although the election vote was 46% participation (snow storm on Sunday, or wasn't it Japanese useful disaffection for politics, therefore don't complain if you' r not happy with it!) compels Monsieur Masuzoe to rule and to put his pledges into action “in order to make Tokyo the best in the world.” That won’t be easy but he has nearly 165.000 civil servants to help him…

Masuzoe told us he first of all has to make all necessary preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, not only enhancing the infrastructure: “The metropolitan government needs to work hard on welfare, disaster preparation and public safety measures.”

On nuclear energy, Masuzoe said Tokyo does not have much impact on the plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co. to restart reactors at its massive Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture. “We have to understand that nuclear energy policy belongs to the national government,” Masuzoe said. “It’s up to the Abe administration to make a decision on the plan after hearing the opinions of experts” at the Nuclear Regulation Authority. “So, I have been saying that to decrease dependence on nuclear power, we have to create the renewable energies by ourselves.” He has said he would like to see nuclear energy phased out in the long run.

Last about waiting lists for nursery schools, which currently have around 8,100 names, Masuzoe who also is a former Health minister said he will seek out the cooperation of railways. “Vacant space underneath elevated railway tracks could be used for nurseries” Masuzoe already start working on it : I already started talking to railway presidents.” Now is time for campaign promisses delivery.

Governor Masuzoe, francophone and francophile, has 4 years mandate. A second mandate could lead him to be Tokyo host for the year 2020, you know, the Tokyo Summer Olympics. I think he could make it.

Female journalist in the Q and A session

(Photographies with the latest Casio EX-10)

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