From the Perspective of a Parent ~ As a father of three ~
As a father of three children, I understand the challenges of raising them. Every child has unlimited potential, and our aim is to help them develop their potential to the fullest, regardless of their environment. Our focus is on initiatives related to children’s education and health. We are particularly focused on expanding the paediatric healthcare subsidy system, which made significant progress last year, and enhancing eye examinations during the three-year old child health check-up, to ensure that all children’s health is equally protected.
In education, we believe that developing individuality, self-esteem, and independence is crucial. We aim to create a system that enables children to strive and challenge themselves according to their level of learning. We will work towards making the city an easy place to raise children, for instance, by improving subsidies for households with multiple children. As the number of two-income households increases, we aspire to be a city where each and every child can shine brightly, while addressing the problems of child rearing from the perspective of parents.
From the Workers Perspective
Although the terms nursing care and ageing society are somehow negative, they are the result of advanced medical care and education. As a developed country, our role as a model city for solving problems is to solve the challenges of an ageing society while promoting the development of such advanced technologies. Money issues are involved in all aspects of care: caregivers, those being cared for, the place of care, institutions and programs. On the other hand, if you look around you, you will see many people who are very active and energetic even after retirement. In the era of 100-year life expectancy, we will change the concept of retirement, create a system in the community where people can remain active throughout their lives, have those who are healthy and energetic can continue generate income, and create a system where everyone can support those who need care.
From the Perspective of a Business Person
It is crucial to maintain a balance between ‘earning’ and ‘welfare.’ To achieve this, we will increase social security and reform the city council and administrative costs. As we step into a new age, we will accelerate the digitalization of the 2,400 administrative procedures, streamline unnecessary systems and customs, and eliminate ‘muri, muda, mura’ (overload, time wastage, and inconsistency) in a spirit of continuity and progression. Furthermore, we intend to create a city-wide economic stimulus package by leveraging the more than 550 research institutes in the city and the ‘special zone’ off the coast of Haneda. This will enable us to invest higher tax revenues in social security and urban development. By supporting the growth of start-ups and encouraging new businesses, we will foster innovation, leading to a better future. Our goal is to revitalize the economy of Kawasaki and establish a better support system, enabling more of our constituents to take on new challenges.
Maintaining a balance between earnings and welfare is crucial. With this in mind, we are committed to increasing social security and reforming our administrative procedures with the aim of streamlining unnecessary systems and customs. As we enter a new era, we will accelerate our digitalization efforts, eliminate time wastage, and inconsistency, and progress with continuity in mind. Moreover, we will create a city-wide economic stimulus package that leverages the vast resources within our city and the special zone off the coast of Haneda. By supporting the growth of start-ups and encouraging new businesses, we will foster innovation and establish a better support system for our constituents. Our goal is to revitalize the economy of Kawasaki and enable our constituents to take on new challenges.
Expansion of the paediatric healthcare financial assistance programme ~The lives and health of all children should be protected equally.~
voice : I would like medical costs for children to be reduced in order to make it easier to bring up children.
With issues such as the prolonged Corona disaster, the impact on households raising children due to soaring prices and the reluctance to visit hospitals coming to the fore, the LDP City Council requested the mayor to expand the medical expenses subsidy system.
Looking to better eye health check-ups ~The era of 100-year lives: caring for the eyes of children and adults~
voice : I wish to see citizens protected from eye problems caused by smartphones, overlooked amblyopia and the progression of glaucoma.
I submitted a formal request for the enhancement of health check-ups in the city. A budget request was submitted for the introduction of a refraction machine, which is key to improving the tests.
Support for neighbourhood and community association activities ~Neighbourhood associations – revitalising neighbourhood associations creates better communities.~
voice : Town councils – wanting to enhance residents’ association activities
Ensuring knowledge of the cervical cancer vaccine. ~Prevention! Opportunities to get the correct information~
I would like the correct information to be given at the appropriate time and for those who wish to be vaccinated to be given the opportunity to be vaccinated.
- Keep a distinction between the public and the private
- Not afraid to give up power
- Doing the work no one else wants to do
- Cherish ‘tradition’ and ‘culture’ as a Japanese person.
- Always put your self in the other person’s shoes
２．Stance on Money
- Disclose political and electoral funding.
- In politics, trust comes first. No hidden political spending!
３．Approach to problem-solving
- Problems are solved in the field.
- We develop strategies on the ground and organise them in the field.
４．Attitude towards Parliament
- Adopt a cost-conscious approach similar to that of private companies and take on the challenge of reducing overload, time-wasting, and inconsistency.
５．Stance on Kawasaki City
- Making Kawasaki a leading city in Japan.
- Becoming a world-class, prosperous city
The Four Promises
１．Crime Prevention and Safety
As a citizen of this city for the past 37 years, I can’t help but feel that public safety has gotten worse. I will prioritize crime prevention and public security so the city can be a place where people can feel safe.
Creating a town and community means putting effort into creating good people. The current situation of classroom and family breakdown cannot be left unchecked. Education should enrich both the hearts and minds of learners.
As someone bringing up a child in the current generation, I understand parents needs for childcare support. I will make it a priority to solve the shortage of nursery schools and kindergartens, with the aim of having zero children on waiting lists. We will also consider reducing the burden on children with special illnesses, atopic diseases and asthma patients, with a view to reviewing the paediatric healthcare system.
４．Care for the Elderly and Disabled
We will improve public services to citizens, who are the assets of this city, improve medical and care facilities for the elderly and create a future where people with disabilities can live with peace of mind.
Local Election Pledges 2023 (令和5年)
The future of Kawasaki
In 2024, Kawasaki City will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The city, which started with a population of 50,000, has transformed into a metropolis with more than 1.54 million inhabitants.
In the year 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck, and the entire metropolitan area was burnt to the ground, leaving approximately 100,000 people dead or missing, and the city of Kawasaki was also severely affected. The turbulent time between the two world wars also saw worldwide epidemics of Spanish flu and cholera. Those who lived through those times overcame the earthquake, war, and infectious diseases to create the Japan and Kawasaki of today. It must have taken incredible strength and effort to build the Kawasaki City we see today.
In recent years, we have also been facing another series of challenges, from increasing climate difficulties and the new coronavirus infection to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the accompanying price hikes. As we face these challenges one by one, Kawasaki City must decide what kind of society it will become over the next 100 years.
In this period of great change, there are a mountain of issues to tackle, including efforts to curb emissions that contribute to global warming by 1.5%, responding to the needs of our citizens quickly and efficiently, providing childcare support and education measures to create a bright future, and implementing industrial structural reforms to leverage new science and generate innovation in medicine, nursing care, and pharmaceuticals.
What is important in these times is the spirit of change and the spirit of fluidity in response to the times.
As we look towards the next 100 years, as our predecessors strived to do all those years ago, the Kawasaki LDP will build for the present and the future to create a safe, prosperous, and caring city.
Commitments made 4 years ago
In 2019, we (the LDP Kawasaki City Council) made a commitment called “10 Promises for an SDG Future City”. We assessed how much progress we have actually made over the past four years on the 10 commitments and 48 items that we presented to constituents.
More than 80% of our commitments have achieved a degree of success, with 56% of our promises coming to complete fruition and another 30% more well underway. On the other hand, 9% were not achieved, 2% were not able to be assessed, and a further 2% did not achieve the results we hoped for. We will take these into account when planning future projects.
We understand the importance of reflecting on past achievements and hurdles to create a better plan for the future of the city.
Kawasaki, The SDGs City of the Future, moving into the next century
Seven pillars and 58 promises
１ Establishing exceptional cities and administrative, financial, and parliamentary reforms
To ensure that Kawasaki can realize its full potential as a metropolis, we aim to establish the exceptional city system as soon as possible in cooperation with the other designated cities in Japan.
While actively seeking the transfer of authority and financial resources to the State, the Government will promote fiscal consolidation by continuously reviewing and optimising expenditure with a view to population decline from 2030 onwards.
- With regard to the special city system, based on the principle of subsidiarity (the principle of priority for basic local government), we will promote initiatives in collaboration with other cities to eliminate the dual administration of the prefecture and the city and unify citizen services, while ensuring that the city administration can operate as a sophisticated society with authority and financial resources appropriate for a major city. In addition to enhancing public relations to promote citizen understanding, we will vigorously promote this initiative, including lobbying the State to enact legislation.
- While actively selecting and optimizing measures and making investments that lead to the development of tax resources, we will implement constant administrative and financial reforms, such as reviewing projects and reducing costs, with the aim of achieving financial management that does not rely on borrowing from the debt relief fund.
- We will further strengthen measures to counter the outflow of municipal tax from home tax payments, which are increasing year on year, and promote further efforts to increase revenues by utilising the city’s attractive returns and other products.
- As efforts are underway to formulate a land use policy for the Ogishima area, which will be one of the largest projects in Kawasaki’s history, the council has also established a special committee for the (provisionally named) Ogishima redevelopment, which will work with the administration to promote the project.
２ Promotion of administrative digitalisation and creation of new industries
In order to steadily respond to a social environment that is changing at an accelerated pace year by year, the city will further promote digitalisation initiatives in accordance with the Municipal DX Promotion Plan, following the creation of the Digital Agency. The city, which has a thriving information service industry, is expected to lead the nation’s municipalities in this endeavour. The aim is not only to improve convenience for citizens, but also to optimise limited human resources by improving operational efficiency through the use of digital technology and AI.
- While promoting the online implementation of administrative procedures and gradually aiming to establish a system whereby it is not necessary to visit each ward office for basic procedures, the Government will further promote efforts to reduce information disparities and take measures to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of digitization, such as the establishment of (tentative) ICT Supporters.
- From 2022 onwards, the city will continue to make proactive efforts to ensure that almost all citizens obtain a My Number Card, including the establishment of projects that utilize the city’s own My Number Card and the expansion of the on-site acquisition counter.
- The Kawasaki City Digital Transformation (DX) Development Plan has a focus of improving citizen services and reforming operations. It promotes the use of digital technology and data in all of the city’s numerous operations.
- We will accelerate reforms across all government departments and develop initiatives thinking outside the box, such as actively appointing experts in the ICT field, both public and private, to serve as the command post for Kawasaki DX implementation, and setting up a department specialising in administrative digitalisation.
- With post-Corona society in mind, we aim to support for new ways of working, including support for the introduction of teleworking in small and medium-sized enterprises in the city and the establishment of co-working spaces in various locations in the city.
- The Super City concept will be studied, a cross-departmental structure will be developed to link data across multiple sectors, deregulation will be promoted, and a mechanism will be set up to provide state-of-the-art services through public-private cooperation.
- Accelerate start-up and foundation support mechanisms and work on the creation of new industries and services from within the city.
- The current Kawasaki City Official Website will be revamped to make it easy for everyone to use and find. The new website will not only have up-to-date information but will also be switched to a special site for disasters and will be designed to provide citizens with important information in the event of a disaster.
３ Economic Regeneration – support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city
In the post-Corona society, people’s lifestyles and consumer behaviour have changed significantly compared to pre-Corona times, and it is necessary to accurately understand these changes and actively plan and promote measures that contribute to regional revitalisation in cooperation with local businesses and other organisations in the city, in cooperation with the public and private sectors.
In addition, the burden on businesses and households in the city is increasing rapidly as a result of rising commodity and energy prices. In the medium to long-term, salaries will need to be raised to meet the new cost of living. In the more immediate term, efforts need to be made to help reduce the burden on businesses and ordinary households.
In the Corona Disaster, it is the waterfront area that drives the city’s economy by increasing the volume of freight. The suspension of the blast furnaces and other facilities of the historic JFE Steel Corporation East Japan Works in Ogishima is a great loss, but it is important to take the crisis as an opportunity to investigate ways to make effective use of the site and to make maximum use of the Tama River Sky Bridge to revitalise the economy in the future.
- In view of the new coronavirus outbreak and the increasing burden caused by soaring prices of goods and energy, flexible and quick financial allocation will be made to citizens and businesses in need of assistance.
- To support the creation of jobs in the city’s businesses and keep the unemployment rate low, while improving not only the city’s gross output, but also the productivity of all those working in the city, career and skills training for businesses and citizens will be improved.
- We will support the improvement of work-life balance towards a society where women also flourish. We will continue to promote initiatives in the private sector, such as encouraging the use of annual paid leave, providing support related to childcare and nursing care, and introducing teleworking systems.
- The Government promotes initiatives to improve employment and employment support for persons with disabilities. In particular, we will promote initiatives to support employment in small and medium-sized enterprises (less than 100 employees), which are relatively under-employed, and to increase wages associated with employment.
- As a strategy to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the city, a new minimum price limit and an increase in the existing limit rate will be promoted to ensure proper execution of commissioned work.
- The Port of Kawasaki, which is experiencing an increase in the volume of cargo handled every year, will be given appropriate support and efforts will be made to further improve roads and the environment in order to strengthen logistics, disaster prevention and beautification.
In particular, efforts will be made to start construction of the ‘Tamagawa Tunnel’ on the National Route 357 Tokyo Bay Road as soon as possible. In addition, as a port and waterfront area close to citizens, we will also study the development of marine transport and railway tracks, such as the Kawasaki Approach Line concept.
- Promoting promotional activities throughout the city, such as supporting local markets of Kawasaki Sodachi, an agricultural product produced in Kawasaki City.
- As a measure for farmland that is approaching 30 years since its designation as a green production area, we will continue to work carefully and in cooperation with relevant organisations towards the transition to a specific green production area.
- Work towards the holding of the National Urban Greenery Kawasaki Fair, a project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the city’s founding, to promote Kawasaki’s diverse and abundant flowers and greenery throughout the country, and to set the direction for future greenery policies that will preserve and pass on the city to future generations.
- Strengthen measures to attract tourists to the city, taking advantage of its location near Haneda Airport. The city’s potential tourism offerings will be revitalised, and efforts will be made to strengthen support for the development of places of interest and their surroundings and the organisation of events.
- In order to ensure a stable supply of safe and secure fresh foodstuffs, etc., the Kawasaki Central Wholesale Market and local wholesale markets will strive to solve the challenges they face.
４ Urban infrastructure development and disaster prevention
In order to rival international cities, we need to improve urban hubs and transport networks, promote the resilience of infrastructure against disasters, and enhance roads for daily life that contribute to the safety, security, and convenience of the lives of citizens.
The city urgently needs to prepare for disasters such as the 2019 typhoon, which caused extensive damage to the city, and other recent disasters that have intensified due to abnormal weather, among other factors. The city will vigorously pursue disaster prevention and disaster mitigation measures based on the Kawasaki Resilience Plan.
- In addition to disaster prevention and vitality for citizens, the new city hall will also have a guest house as befitting an international city with the completion of the Tama River Sky Bridge, and will be designed to convey the attractiveness of Kawasaki as a city that prides itself on its diversity.
- As for the improvement of the traffic network and roads for daily life, the Kawasaki Expressway and urban planning roads will be steadily improved, while narrow roads in the city, which hinder the passage of emergency vehicles and make evacuation difficult during disasters, will be further widened and enhanced.
- Initiatives to prevent fires in urban areas with wooden buildings.
- The JR Nambu Line continuous multi-level crossing project, an important infrastructure investment for future generations, will be implemented as soon as possible, and in the Keihin Kyuko Daishi Line continuous multi-level crossing project (section I phase 2), difficulties will be tackled in order to improve the traffic environment.
- In cooperation with the national and prefectural governments, the government will promote the urgent implementation of ground investigations and liquefaction countermeasures for reclaimed land in the waterfront area through public-private cooperation, as well as the preparation of responses to tsunami, storm surge, and other marine disasters, the functioning of East Ogishima as a key wide-area disaster prevention base and the strengthening of cooperation with the Self-Defence Forces and other organizations.
- In developing initiatives as a tourist city, it is essential to create a symbolic urban landscape for the city. We will work on symbolic urban landscaping that everyone thinks of when they hear the name Kawasaki, and on elegant urban design that is appropriate for a city of 1.54 million people.
- We will encourage the use of subsidies to support the activities of neighbourhood associations and residents’ associations, and support initiatives that contribute to the promotion and revitalisation of community associations and residents’ associations. We will also strengthen cooperation between large-scale housing complexes, which has become an issue, and the administration, and work towards face-to-face community development, such as improving disaster response capabilities.
５ Health and Welfare Policy
Kawasaki City’s population continues to grow, but the national trend of falling birthrates and an ageing population is steadily affecting the city. It is important to keep a close eye on developments in the Child and Family Agency, which will be established in April this year, and, based on the concept that childcare support is an investment in the next generation, to provide an environment where children can be born and raised with peace of mind and where the elderly and disabled can play an active role with vitality. Initiatives appropriate for the age of 100-year life expectancy, including the extension of healthy life expectancy, will be promoted.
Kawasaki aims to be the city of choice for families raising children, and a place where the elderly and people with disabilities can live with a smile on their faces.
- 1. With regard to measures against new coronavirus infection, even after the status under the Infectious Diseases Act has been moved to Category 5, efforts will be made to ensure proper vaccination and an appropriate medical system, etc., and to avoid confusion caused by the change in the system, information will be conveyed in an easy-to-understand and careful manner for the public.
- With regard to the communication of information on medical and welfare measures, in addition to conventional publicity, public lectures and other initiatives for citizens will be promoted to ensure that everyone can quickly obtain official information.
- Digitalisation will also be promoted in treatment centres and clinics, and efforts will be made to build an effective healthcare delivery system that combines telemedicine and face-to-face consultations.
- To create an environment conducive to raising children, support for infertility treatment will be promoted, the period of support in postnatal care services will be expanded, etc., and temporary care for infants will be increased.
- Further support is provided to households with multiple children, who face greater financial burdens in various areas such as childcare, education and housing, in order to foster an environment in which it is easier to raise children in the city.
- The current system of subsidising children’s medical expenses up to the sixth grade of primary school will be extended to the third grade of junior high school. In addition, the income limit that was previously set will be abolished.
- With regard to the prevention of child abuse, in addition to strengthening the staffing system, expanding child guidance centres and taking other after-the-fact measures, efforts will be made to resolve the root causes of child abuse, detect the signs of child abuse and establish a system to provide support.
- To prevent the cycle of poverty, the Government will expand learning support programmes for children from welfare recipient households and single-parent families, and promote initiatives to make them more accessible to more children.
- In view of the fact that the promotion of dental and oral health plays an important role in the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases and the maintenance and promotion of general health, we will study the establishment of a Kawasaki City Dental and Oral Health Ordinance (tentative name), which aims to maintain and promote the lifelong health of citizens, and work towards the introduction of fluoride mouthwash in nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools and junior high schools in the city.
- By utilising all available data, such as KDB and NDB, the city is leading the nation’s municipalities in identifying risks to public finances and citizens’ healthy lifestyles, and is working to improve the rate of specific health check-ups, aiming to reduce the number of diseases subject to high medical costs, and promoting effective preventive interventions in the medical care sector, such as realising care tailored to local conditions.
- With regard to preventive measures against dementia, the functions of the Medical Centre for Dementia Diseases, which now consists of four centres in the city, will be strengthened and enhanced for early detection and early treatment. In addition, a pilot project for screening tests for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which was implemented until FY2022, will be reviewed and efforts will be made to implement the test on a full-scale manner.
- Many citizens suffer from shingles, with an estimated 150,000 affected people (of which about 30,000 suffer from neuralgia) out of the city’s population of 580,000 aged 50 and over. While active vaccination with both live and inactivated vaccines is required in accordance with their duration of effect, support for vaccination, which is an expensive burden, will be expanded.
- The introduction of SVS (spot vision screeners) will be promoted for the early detection of amblyopia and strabismus in infancy, a critical period for visual development, and efforts will be made to improve eye examinations.
６ Education, culture and sports policies
The development of independent and self-reliant individuals cannot be achieved without them first having a good education. Along with improving the educational environment, we hope to establish an environment in which teachers and staff can concentrate on the essential duties they are responsible for. We will strive to nurture children’s love of their hometown, richness of spirit and moral values, and further promote education that helps them acquire basic lifestyle habits, life skills and ethical values.
The development of an environment where citizens can learn about the history and culture of their city and where they can easily become familiar with and support sporting activities is a source of pride for the city. We will actively support the protection and revitalization of the city’s traditional culture and customs, which have been spun out by our predecessors, and pass them on to the next generation as the identity of the citizens, while continuing to promote culture and sports in order to realize a spiritually rich civic life.
- We will further advance the transition of club activities to the regions, further improve the working styles of teachers and staff, and actively implement policies to ensure that they have time to spend with their children, such as preparing for classes, which is their primary duty.
- Encourage innovative and flexible ideas and initiatives in local parks that are close to the citizens, which will lead to the fulfilment of the park’s inherently diverse functions and further increase its attractiveness.
- In response to the new town hall scheduled for completion in 2024, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the city’s establishment, projects are being promoted that make use of the Tachibanaki government office complex, which are the remains of government offices and temples from the Tachibanaki District era in Musashi Province.
- The city will actively work to attract international tournaments to Kawasaki, promote support and cooperation with the city’s professional sports teams, and increase the number of sporting events in which citizens can participate.
- Consider introducing educational systems such as proficiency-based classes and achievement-based classes and assessments.
- The number of students enrolled in special needs schools in the city continues to increase and the shortage of classrooms is becoming more serious. Demand is particularly acute in the southern part of the city, and we are working with Kanagawa Prefecture, which is obliged to establish such schools, to introduce new schools and to improve the facilities of existing schools.
- We will work to create a city where young people can live lively lives and be proud, while utilising the characteristics of Kawasaki by fostering street culture and extreme sports.
- Improve the environment by utilising parks, green spaces and school playground facilities so that children can play and play sports with a ball in familiar places in the community.
- Even after the implementation of free preschool care, there is still a large difference in the childcare fees paid by parents between nursery schools and private kindergartens. We will ask for an increase in the national standard benefit fee, and will also consider our own additional fees.
- With regard to the ever-increasing number of children who are not attending school, school sites, boards of education, private organisations and families will work together to provide appropriate support that is tailored to the child’s individuality.
７ Energy Policies and the Reduction of Carbon Emissions
In October 2021, the Sixth Basic Energy Plan was formulated, setting targets for decarbonization of 46% by 2030 (compared to 2013) and carbon neutrality by 2050.
In the city, a revision of the Kawasaki City Basic Plan for the Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures, including milestones and basic ideas for CO2 reduction under the Kawasaki Carbon Neutral Challenge 2050 (revision of the underlying ordinance) was scheduled for the end of FY2022.
Without turning our backs on environmental issues, we need to discuss and ensure that our city is promoting the initiatives it should be taking in response to our country’s international role.
- Install hydrogen supply facilities (hydrogen stations) to refuel fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and increase the number of high-speed charging stations, as well as facilitating the use of disaster storage in town centres.
- Create real-time ‘visualisation’ strategies so that all citizens can see the city’s CO2 emissions.
- The effective use of waste power generation promotes local production and local consumption of electricity through the establishment of regional power suppliers.
- The Government will further promote initiatives related to energy generation and storage, such as the expansion of the Smart House Subsidy Scheme and subsidies to support the eco-friendliness of businesses in the city, as well as co-operation in supplying electricity in the event of a disaster.
- In further expanding solar power generation, we will promote the implementation of projects that can coexist with local communities, implement positive zoning, and strengthen measures for proper introduction and management, including measures to deal with disasters and illegal dumping. We will also work on the technological development of next-generation solar cells, such as perovskite solar cells, which can be installed on walls and curved surfaces.
the LDP Kawasaki City Council