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February 2007

Experimental Small Bus and Jumbo Taxi Service

26 February 2007

Since July 2006, Kyoto City has been trying out in cooperation with private transport companies an experimental small bus and jumbo taxi service. The experiment was set up along several bus routes which had been running in the red. To cut the deficit, the city improved the system by using smaller vehicles and by considering a better time table. As a result of the experiment, the number of passengers increased 42%. Based on the results, the city introduced further improvements and will begin another experiment for a year from April 2007. Please refer to the flyers about detailed time tables (available from mid March, 2007). For further information, contact the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau at 075-822-9104.

First Success in Japan Generating Electricity from Hydrogen from Household Kitchen Garbage

26 February 2007

Kyoto City has made the first success in Japan to generate electricity from hydrogen gas made from ‘biomass’, made from household kitchen garbage. Hydrogen gas will be an alternative energy source in the next generation. The experiment was operated from November 2006 in cooperation with the Kyoto University, the Ministry of the Environment, the Research Association of Biogas as a way to counter the green house effect and reduce garbage. According to the experiment results, household kitchen garbage can be used to generate the new energy source without burning it. Based on these results about 40% of household garbage doesn’t need to be burned which would result in a mass reduction of emissions. The experiment team will develop the project further to put it into municipal action by 2013. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Facility Maintenance Section at 075-212-8500.

World Mayors Council on Climate Change Kyoto Assembly Held

19 February 2007

From February 16th to 18th, 2007, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change Kyoto Assembly was held. More than 50 cities and groups from around the world gathered in Kyoto, the birth place of the Kyoto Protocol, to discuss global warming. The council was founded in December 2005 by Mr. Masumoto, the mayor of Kyoto, to promote local efforts to stop global warming. In this assembly, the participants presented their leading projects. Kyoto presented pioneering projects to the world including designing new ordinances for global warming provisions and bio-diesel projects which the city is developing in partnership with its citizens. Also the council made a joint declaration pledging that all the participants cooperate with one another and make their best effort to achieve the goals discussed in the assembly. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Global Warming Provision Section at 075-222-3452.

Tax Payment for Light Cars Accepted at Convenience Stores

19 February 2007

From February 14th 2007, tax payments for light cars will be accepted at convenience stores. As a result, people can pay the tax anytime: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays. The tax payment form with special barcode can be used at about 40,000 convenience stores all around Japan is sent to taxpayers in May every year. Prior to this, as a trial, this form will be sent to people who have to pay the tax between February and March. The form without the barcode can not be used in convenience stores. Please refer to the back of the form to see which convenience stores accept the service. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Taxation Section at 075-213-5200.

Kyoto Citizen’s Charter for Child Raising

12 February 2007

On February 5th 2007, Kyoto City announced the ‘Kyoto Citizen’s Charter for Child Raising’. In recent years, there have been many serious situations related to children including less communication and a reduced ability in families and local communities in raising children. In the worst cases, the precious lives of children are lost due to terrible crimes. The charter has a common code of conduct that all citizens should cherish. A committee for this purpose was formed by a municipal organization to decide the contents and accept opinions from citizens. There are 6 main chapters. One of them declares that we should respect the presence of children and protect their invaluable lives. The city will promote this charter through families, local communities, schools, companies and other public offices. For more information, please contact the Kyoto City Child Welfare Section at 075-251-2380.

New Station Names for the Subway Tozai Line Wanted

12 February 2007

Kyoto City is now extending subway the Tozai Line to the Tenjingawa area. Construction will be finished by the end of March 2008. Two new stations will be constructed on Nishioji Oike and Tenjingawa Oike. The city is now requesting ideas for station names. The names should be easy to understand and suitable. Anyone who lives in Kyoto or who uses the Kyoto city subway system can apply. Submittal boxes have been placed near the ticket gate in each station with special application forms next to the box. Applications will also be accepted by postcard or fax. The deadline is February 20th. The results will released in April 2007 and a 3,000 yen pre-paid traffic card for the city bus and subway will be presented to 50 people who joined the competition. All the copy rights related to the station names will belong to the city. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau at 075-822-9176.

City’s Budget Outline for 2007 Released

5 February 2007

The Mayor, Mr. Masumoto, released the outline of the city’s budget for 2007 on February 2nd, 2007. The total amount of the general budget is 690.9 billion yen which is a decrease of 0.7% (4.8 billion yen) from the previous year. This is Mr. Masumoto’s third term and he focused extra resources on support for child care and education to create a better future for Kyoto. He considers it is very important to view Kyoto’s future over the long term—50 to 100 years—to raise the coming next generation who will promote and preserve the scenery, culture and tourism industry of Japan’s most important historical city. For example, the city will draft a new law to preserve historical scenery, arrange special lectures about art and culture, new tourism business promotion, how to use the income generated by the paid-for garbage bag system, action programs to deal with neglected bicycles in the city, etc. The budget plans will be discussed in the City Council and will be enacted from April when it the budget decisions have passed.

Future Projects for ‘New Municipal Scenery Policies’

5 February 2007

Kyoto City has released a future related project for ‘New Municipal Scenery Policies to view Kyoto’s future over the long term—50 to 100 years—to preserve the scenery, culture and tourism industry of Japan’s most important historical city. The city has played a pioneering role in the preservation of Japan’s historical scenery. In spite of its efforts, valuable scenery in the city is being lost and in some respects the situation is serious. The city released its first plan in last November and collected opinions from citizens. As a result, 1,410 opinions were collected. Some said that the city should take prompt action based on new preservation action plans, others are worried land values and economic vitality will be decreased by the strict regulations. The city will take efficient action immediately, for example, to revise regulations for building designs that respect the opinions of o residents. The necessary expense for these changes will be reflected in the budget for 2007. When it is passed, City Council’s Committee of City Planning will discuss further developments. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Scenery Planning Section at 075-222-3397.

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