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January 2005


Interim Report from “Group Which Considers Kyoto bus industry”

31 January 2005

An interim report about more efficient and effective measures for assuring the operation of bus routes around Kyoto needed for everyday life, even if they might be in the red, has recently been released by the “Group Which Considers Kyoto bus industry.” The group was set up last August to work and hold meetings with city bus representatives and private transportation companies, with an objective of realizing a more convenient public transportation network. Regarding the feasibility of operating small buses and such alternative forms of transportation as taxis which carry more than one fare at a time, the interim report proposes that the existing standards of service for city buses, including operation frequency, be maintained and that model tests be performed based the ingenuity of private transportation companies in order to verify the institutionalization thereof. It is expected that the city will accept these proposals and begin model testing sometime around July of this year.

For further details call the Office of General Affairs of the Kyoto Municipal Traffic Bureau, at 075-822-9104.


Winter Edition of “Kyoto City Graph” Published

31 January 2005

Kyoto City has recently published the winter edition of “Kyoto City Graph.” This graphic quarterly provides a visual report of the various charms and municipal administration of Kyoto. The current issue, titled “Young Traditional Performing Artists of Kyoto,” takes a look at four young people involved in some of the traditional performing arts which have a close connection to Kyoto, including noh, kyogen, sokyoku and tokiwazu – and the passion these artists have for their art. Specially featured in this issue is Katsura Innovation Park, where state-of-the-art research and technological development is performed. This includes close-ups of the recently opened (last spring) Innovation Plaza Kyoto and Kyodai Katsura Venture Plaza, through interviews of visitors to those places. “Kyoto City Graph” is currently available free of charge at the information desk of City Hall, as well as at ward and branch offices.

For further details call the Kyoto Municipal Public Relations Office, at 075-222-3094.


A New Firefighting Center for Kyoto City

24 January 2005

Kyoto Mayor Yorikane Masumoto has recently announced that a new firefighting center is in the works, the first anywhere in Japan to serve as a center of firefighting activities during both ordinary times and major disasters. The center is under construction near Meishin Expressway, Kyoto Minami Interchange in the Kami-toba district of Minami Ward. During ordinary times the center will support firefighting activities by storing and replenishing equipment used to check firefighting vehicles, as well as tools and materials. The center will also be used as a school and training center for firefighters. During major disasters, including earthquakes, the center will serve as a base for auxiliary emergency firefighting teams dispatched from all over the country – accommodating a maximum of 1,800 people performing support activities over long periods of time.
For further details call the General Affairs Section of the Kyoto Municipal Fire Bureau, at 075-212-6629.


Attracting the G8 Summit to Kyoto

24 January 2005

Kyoto Mayor Yorikane Masumoto has recently indicated his intention to attract to Kyoto the G8 Summit scheduled to be held in Japan in 2008. The summit provides an opportunity for leaders of advanced nations to gather together in one place. The decision to invite the summit to Kyoto has been made as a great opportunity to demonstrate to the world the marvelous culture and natural surroundings of Kyoto, and in view of the fact that the new Kyoto Guesthouse of the national Government will be completed in April. The city will work closely with Kyoto Prefecture and the Chamber of Commerce to actively promote this idea, in cooperation with Osaka, self-governing bodies and industry in the Kansai region.


New PR slogan for Municipal Administration Enacted: “The historical city of Kyoto – timeless, beautiful and radiant.”

17 January 2005

The city has recently announced the enactment of a new PR slogan for municipal administration: “The historical city of Kyoto – timeless, beautiful and radiant,” to replace the old “The vibrant city of Kyoto – people, town and romance.” In addition to widely improving the image of Kyoto’s municipal administration both in the city and elsewhere, it is hoped that the new slogan will promote understanding and participation in municipal administration among citizens.

The new slogan portrays the image of Kyoto – the historical city of beautiful natural surroundings and an ambiance of old Japan, and hope for the future – as it relates to the notion of “creating Kyoto as a national strategy” in which Kyoto City is currently involved.

This slogan will begin to appear this month in printed publications, including Shimin Shimbun, as well as on TV, radio and the Internet.

For further details call the Kyoto Municipal Public Relations Office, at 075-222-3094.


Announcement of Results of “Citizen Activity” Survey from Municipal Administration General Questionnaire

17 January 2005

Kyoto City has recently announced the results of the survey from the Municipal Administration General Questionnaire regarding “Citizen Activity.” This survey was conducted on 3,000 Kyoto citizens age 20 or over in order to get an accurate understanding of citizens’ ideas and needs regarding important municipal administrative issues. The most recent survey involved 1,305 people, about 70% of whom indicated that they participated in citizen activities, including those of self-governing bodies, town associations, PTR and volunteer groups. More than 60% of them said that they were involved in local events. Issues which were often mentioned included “not having enough time,” “not having an heir” and “a lack of information- and advice-related liaison.” The city will utilize these results in policy and measures for supporting citizen activities in the future.
For further details call the Kyoto Municipal Public Relations Office, at 075-222-3094.


“Raku Buses” for Recommending Sightseeing Spots to Foreigners

11 January 2005

Kyoto Mayor Yorikane Masumoto has recently announced a project to attract foreign tourists to Kyoto through city bus sightseeing routes.

More specifically, three sightseeing routes, numbers 100, 101 and 102, will be designated as “bus routes for recommending sightseeing spots to foreigners,” and put into operation on January 19. Nicknamed “Raku Buses,” different color designs will be used for buses on each of the routes to enable foreign tourists to easily recognize these buses. The names of the stops along the way and other sightseeing information will be announced in English on the buses. To facilitate travel by foreign tourists to sightseeing destinations, multi-language sightseeing guide maps, in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese, will be posted this year. In addition, trilingual “bus maps” for foreigners (in English, Korean and Chinese) will be produced, with information about how to use the buses and famous tourist spots. Starting at the end of this month, these bus maps will be available free of charge at city tourist information offices and city bus and subway information counters.

For further details call the Kyoto Municipal Traffic Bureau, at 075-822-9143.


Unofficial Decision to Give Title of Honorary Citizen to Shizuka Shirakawa

11 January 2005

Kyoto City has unofficially decided to give the title of honorary citizen to Shizuka Shirakawa, a scholar of classic Chinese and professor emeritus at Ritsumeikan University. Shirakawa has carried on her research for many years in Kyoto. Last year he received the prestigious Order of Culture award for distinguished service. Kyoto City has decided to award Shirakawa with honorary citizenship, making his the 45th recipient of this title for his great contributions to the development of Kyoto as a center of culture through the improvement of science and culture. The decision will be made official at the regular city assembly meeting in February, and the award is scheduled to be presented at an autonomous commemorative ceremony this October.


Japan’s First Ordinances against Controlling Global Warming Enacted

4 January 2005

As the region where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted to prevent global warming, Kyoto has recently enacted the first ordinances against global warming in Japan. These ordinances, which increase the effect of the city’s measures against global warming, are an indicator, so to speak, of the measures taken in Kyoto against global warming. With an objective to reduce by 10% the amount of greenhouse-effect gas emissions of 1990 by the year 2010, the ordinances specify the obligations of the city’s businesses, citizens and tourists in the prevention of global warming. Preparations for the ordinances are currently under way, with all but some of them slated to go into effect on April 1.

For further details call the Kyoto Municipal Environmental Office, at 075-222-3452.


Basic Plan for Crisis Management in Kyoto City Decided

4 January 2005

Kyoto City has recently decided on the Basic Plan for Crisis Management in Kyoto City. The purpose of this plan is to more accurately deal with all kinds of crises, including such disasters as earthquakes and damage from storms and floods which have occurred thus far, as well as SARS and the bird influenza, and in so doing to protect the lives, health and property of citizens – through overall and systematic crisis management. In addition to categorizing crises into three types, this plan sets three different crisis levels and determines a municipal system by which to deal with each scenario.

For further details call the General Affairs Section of the Kyoto Municipal Fire Bureau, at 075-212-6629.



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