Tokyo’s Big Spending in Illumination and Disaster Prevention Books Under Governor Koike | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tokyo’s Big Spending in Illumination and Disaster Prevention Books Under Governor Koike

Two months to go until the opening of the Tokyo gubernatorial election.

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is illuminated nightly with a spectacular projection mapping project costing approximately 1.65 billion yen. The total cost of the projection mapping exceeded 1.6 billion yen in the last fiscal year.

Every night, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office is decorated with a colorful nighttime event. The projection mapping started in February of this year. Using projectors, images using light and sound are projected on the walls of the 48-story, 243-meter-high main government building at set times.

The projection was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest projection on a building of this size for a permanent exhibition. On Saturday nights, many people gather in the plaza in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to watch the projection mapping,” said a reporter for a national newspaper.

The cost of this spectacular project, which the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government says is “aimed at enhancing nighttime tourism,” is enormous. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government spent approximately 700 million yen last fiscal year and 950 million yen this fiscal year, for a total of 1.65 billion yen.

Governor Yuriko Koike’s term of office, which began in 2004 and lasted for two terms and eight years, will expire in July. Two months remain before the election of the new governor. We would like to examine the major major projects that have been carried out under Koike’s administration that cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The past few years have been marked by largess,” says Akira Sawa, a former senior official at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government who has witnessed the Koike administration at work.

The metropolitan budget for the current fiscal year is approximately 8.5 trillion yen, which is higher than last year’s record high. The reason for this is that the economy is improving and tax revenue from corporations is growing. Koike must be spending money like hot water because he has an ample budget that other municipalities envy.

In Harumi Pier Park facing Tokyo Bay, there is a monument designed with the word “TOKYO” that was inaugurated in March of this year.

I heard that it cost about 160 million yen to produce. …… With that much money, how many children’s playground equipment could be placed in the park? I feel that this is the wrong use of taxpayers’ money” (a Tokyo resident who visited the site).

Formula E,” held in Tokyo in March, was an international race for electric vehicles that took place on a 2.58-kilometer course, including public roads, surrounding Tokyo Big Sight.

A British company sponsored the race, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government held three events in the hopes of encouraging the spread of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs), which do not emit carbon dioxide. The budget of about 2.3 billion yen was allocated for last year and this year, including the display of more than 100 ZEVs at the venue on the day of the race.

The “Disaster Prevention Book” was created at a cost of approximately 3.2 billion yen. The book consists of two volumes, “Tokyo Life Disaster Prevention” and “Tokyo Disaster Prevention,” and outlines actions to be taken in the event of a disaster. The book was renewed for the first time in eight years to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake, and was distributed to all 7.5 million households in Tokyo. However, Tokyo residents can find the booklet at …….

When I opened the distributed box, I found a message with Koike’s photo at the top, which made me think it was a publicity stunt. And if you download the PDF file, you can read the exact same content. If we hadn’t gone to the trouble of producing a booklet, I think we could have saved even more money.”

During the Tokyo Olympics, the Olympic symbol and mascot were placed in various locations in Tokyo. The production cost, including the flags along the main roads, was approximately 3.4 billion yen. Now that the Games are over, the Olympic symbol has been reinstalled at three locations, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and the mascot statue has been reinstalled at 13 locations. There is a possibility that they will be left in place and become a “negative legacy” in the future.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government explains.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government explains, “The significance and effectiveness of each project implemented by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are thoroughly examined by the departments in charge, and we do not consider them to be wasteful spending.

However, Mr. Sawa says that if the government continues to act lavishly, a fiscal crisis may occur.

If corporate profits deteriorate, Tokyo tax revenues will drop by 1 trillion yen a year. If we continue to use the money in this way, there is a risk that when the economy slumps, the metropolitan government will not be able to stand on its feet. Koike will have an obligation to prove whether the large projects he has spent huge sums of money on are cost-effective.”

According to Sawa, the metropolitan government’s largesse amounts to about 200 billion yen. The huge projects mentioned above may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The mascot statue created for the Tokyo Olympics. The mascot statue created for the Tokyo Olympics will be reinstalled at more than a dozen locations in Tokyo, along with the symbol of the Olympics.
Disaster Prevention Book: A set of handbooks and other disaster prevention measures created at a cost of approximately 3.2 billion yen. Distributed to all households in Tokyo.
Formula E event: 2.3 billion yen 《Formula E event》A “Formula E” event was held in March. There are plans to hold a second event next May.
TOKYO MONUMENT Approx. 160 million yen A monument installed in Harumi Pier Park. It is 3.5 m high, 10 m wide, and 6.8 m deep.

From “FRIDAY” May 10 and 17, 2024 issue

  • Reporting and writing Masayoshi Katayama (Journalist) PHOTO Matsuo/Afro Sports

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