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February 2006

Opinions for Mid Term Report (outline) for the Kyoto Scenery Creation Committee Recruited

27 February 2006

The Kyoto Scenery Creation Committee is recruiting opinions from citizens for the mid term report outline, especially in regard to urgent projects to preserve Kyoto’s scenery. The committee consists of people from various fields including academic experts, economics scholars, committee members chosen from the citizens, etc. The mayor, Mr. Masumoto has asked the committee how the Kyoto scenery should be preserved and the committee had many meetings on this matter in July 2005. Kyoto’s scenery has changed a lot in recent years and will continue to change unless preservation plans are made. The committee concluded that the city must plan new policy urgently. The mid term report will be handed to the mayor by the end of March. In the report, the committee would like to include opinions from citizens. The deadline for submitting opinions is March 3rd. Please see the pamphlet at the City Hall, ward offices and branch offices or see the website of the City Scenery Section. Opinions will be accepted by mail, fax or email. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Scenery Planning Section at 075-222-3397.

Booklet about Miyako Universal Design Promotion Guidelines Published

27 February 2006

Kyoto City has published a booklet featuring Miyako Universal Design Promotion Guidelines. The guidelines were developed last December to promote the plans and structures of related projects specifically and efficiently. The ordinance was passed last April. Miyako Universal Design represents useful and helpful design in products and facilities for everyone. The design should be based on the mutual-supportive lifestyle of Kyoto. The city believes that universal design can lead to a better society. The guidelines clearly show what companies, citizens, tourists, etc., should do and how the city will promote the project. The booklet is available at City Hall, ward offices and branch offices. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Health and Welfare Section at 075-222-3366.

50th Anniversary of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra

20 February 2006

This year, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It is the only municipal orchestra in Japan founded in 1956. Various celebration projects will be organized, including memorial concerts, special websites, email newsletters, sending the members to the educational fields, etc. The first memorial concert will be held on April 9th from 14:00, at the Kyoto Concert Hall (a few min. walk Kitayama subway station). All of Brahms’ symphonies will be performed, conducted by regular conductors, Naoto Otomo and Michiyoshi Inoue. Tickets will be on sale at the Kyoto Concert Hall and other places (¥3,000-¥5,000). Kyoto Symphoney Orchestra will make effort to be Kyoto’s art and cultural representative. For further information, contact the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra at 075-222-0331.

Results of the General Questionnaire about Kyoto’s Traditional Crafts Released

20 February 2006

Kyoto City has released the result of its general questionnaire about Kyoto’s traditional crafts. The questionnaire was sent to 3,000 citizens over the age of 20. This time 1,449 citizens answered, and more than 90% of them see excellence in Kyoto’s traditional crafts, such as Nishijin textile weaving and Yuzen painting. The majority have experienced some of Kyoto’s traditional crafts in their daily life and through hobbies. However, more than 70% of them felt that there are fewer chances to experience these traditions. In addition more than 60% felt that it is necessary for the city to train a new generation of apprentice craft workers. The city will use these results in further municipal policies and the promotion of traditional crafts.

Final Policy for Paid-for Garbage Bags for Household Garbage Decided

13 February 2006

KyotoCity has decided the final policy for paid-for garbage bags for household garbage.The city believes that charging citizens for the garbage bags they use will reduce the amount of garbage and promote recycling.At first the policy was going to be introduced from October 2005 but this has now been changed to October 1st 2006 after having the meeting and gathering opinions from the citizens in the whole city area.The cost of a garbage bag (45 liter) will be ¥45 per bag.Small bags (5 liter) will be provided ¥5 per bag and ¥20 (20 liter) for recyclable garbage bags.For further information, contact the Kyoto City Recyclable System Promotion Section at 075-222-4091.

Results for the General Questionnaire for City Policy on Global Warming Provision Released

13 February 2006

One year has passed since the Kyoto Protocol came into effect (on February 16th 2005). Kyoto City has been promoting various projects to achieve the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. In the autumn of 2005 a questionnaire was distributed to determine how interested and aware citizens were of global warming issues. The questionnaires were distributed to 3,000 Kyoto citizens over 20 years of age. In total, 1,616 responses were received. The results showed that more than 90% of citizens are interested in global warming policy and that 70% are actively doing something to reduce global warming (refraining using air conditioner, not leaving the water running, etc.). At the same time, 60% felt that the city should do more in regards to garbage disposal. The city will effectively use these results in its new municipal policy starting from March 2006.

Outline of Budget Bill for Fiscal 2006 Released

6 February 2006

On February 3, the mayor, Mr. Masumoto, released the outline of city’s budget bill for fiscal 2006. The general account increased 0.8% from the previous year to 695.7 billion yen. The general account has increased 3 years in a row. This time, budget focuses on the mayor’s main projects to create a better city. For example, it includes money for: 1) more fire alarms; 2) establishing self-support facilities for physically challenged people; 3) organizing a mayor conference about global climate change in Kyoto; 4) preserving and restoring traditional town scenery; 5) maintaining a disaster prevention system; 6) improving public transportation; 7) promoting traditional industries, etc. The budget bill will be deliberated by the City Council and put into effect from April 2006, if it is passed.

Part of the Kyoto City and Prefecture Citizen Tax Revised

6 February 2006

Part of the Kyoto City and Prefecture Citizen Tax will be revised from April 2006. Revisions resulted from low birthrates and longevity that could impose heavy responsibilities future generations. To reduce this responsibility, the elderly will pay taxes based on their income. The revision also includes public pension system deductions for citizens over 65. Based on these revisions, some people have to pay additional tax to the city or prefecture (for example, person who lives alone and his/her pension income exceeds 1.55 million yen or person who support the spouse and pension income exceed 2.25 million yen). The final declaration of income tax and city and prefecture tax is accepted from February 16 to March 15. The application form is also accepted from February 1 to 28 at the Kyoto Industry Hall at Shijo Karasuma, Shimogyo ward. For further information, contact the Tax Section of each ward office and branch office.

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