“I perceive the achievement of inclusive growth as one of the most important initiatives that cities should engage in. Tokyo has been carrying out various measures to promote “diversity,” to become a diverse city where everyone can lead vibrant and active lives. I believe that sharing knowledge and experience on inclusive growth with other Champion Mayors will help us address issues facing Tokyo and the common challenges of the world’s cities.”
– Governor Yuriko Koike
Yuriko Koike has been the Governor of Tokyo since July 2016. In July 2020, she was re-elected to her second term of office.
Prior to being elected to the post, she was active in national politics. She was a member of the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives for a total of 24 years from 1992, during which she held major posts including Minister of the Environment, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security Affairs, Minister of Defense, and Director of the Committee on Budget of the House of Representatives. As the first woman to serve as the Minister of Defense and the Governor of Tokyo, she is paving the way for women to be more active in society.
With a BA in Sociology from Cairo University, she is fluent in English and Arabic, and was a prominent news anchor before entering politics.
To pursue efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5ºC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set a goal of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy summarises the city’s vision for achieving this goal and outlines specific efforts and a roadmap. The strategy aims to develop mitigation measures to halt climate change and adaptation measures for the impacts of climate change that have already begun to occur. The city plans to incorporate sustainable resource management into its climate change policy to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emitted outside Tokyo, further the sustainable use of resources, and expand energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. It will do this by making renewable energy a major energy source and expanding the use of hydrogen energy, expanding zero emission buildings, promoting the spread of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), and promoting 3Rs. With the aim of reaching a Zero Emission Tokyo by 2050, Tokyo will call for the cooperation of city residents, local municipalities, international cities and non-state actors to ensure their understanding and continue collaborative action in promoting these efforts. Tokyo has also developed three other individual plans and strategies for fields requiring prioritisaton: ‘Tokyo Climate Change Adaptation Policy’, the ‘Tokyo Plastic Strategy’, and the ‘Tokyo ZEV Promotion Strategy’.
In order to improve the safety of residents living in areas of the city with densely built wooden houses, Tokyo Metropolitan Government is implementing a ten-year urban development plan specifically targeting fireproofing. 53 districts were identified as priority development districts (covering approximately 3,200 hectares). Projects include the development of wider access roads (wide enough to act as fire breaks and evacuation routes, and to enable emergency vehicle access), parks, and the reconstruction of old wooden houses as fire-proof and earthquake-resistant homes.
Promoting the active participation of women is an urgent issue, as Japan’s world ranking in gender equality remains low. Tokyo Metropolitan Government is implementing various measures. For example, “Vision network (Bijo Net) by female leaders” are meetings that encourage active participation by female governors and mayors nationwide in collaboration with executives and management positions in private companies. The city held the first meeting in Tokyo in November 2019.