日本外国特派員協会で講演

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   私は10月24日、日本外国特派員協会で、私が会長を務める「危機管理都市推進議員連盟」の同志とともに首都機能を代替する副首都計画について講演致しました。
   今回の講演に至る経緯は、我々が推し進める国家非常事態管理インターナショナル都市 : NEMIC (National Emergency Management International City )が、にわかに注目を集め、関係各方面から実現に向け期待が高まり、さらに東日本大震災を受けて、首都圏直下型地震の危険性はかなり高まり、政治・経済の中枢機関が集中する東京の機能がまひすれば、日本全体が大混乱に陥るのは必至で、さらに福島第一原発による周辺事態の現状を勘案すれば、仮に東海地震が起きて、浜岡原発などで有事が起きれば関東一円も多大な被害を受けるため、外国メディアからも候補地として大阪国際空港(伊丹空港)跡地が最適であるとする我々の計画に強い関心と講演の要請を受けてのものです。
   同席致しましたのは議連会長代行の自民党・逢沢一郎前国対委員長、副会長の国民新党・亀井静香代表、同・民主党の海江田万里元経済産業相、同・公明党の漆原良夫国対委員長です。

   私の講演内容は下記の通りで、当日行いました英語の原文を掲載致します。
  
STATEMENT AT FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS CLUB

Good afternoon. My name is Hajime Ishii., I am Committee Chairman on Budget in Upper House. First of all, I thank you very much for inviting me to this honorable club to speak.

-----Introduction of attending members-----

Besides my position that I have just introduced to you, I am also acting as the Chairman President of Parliamentary’s group for promoting construction of NEMIC. NEMIC stands for National Emergency Management International City. This is an enormous project to construct a new sizable international city in an area far from Tokyo, Japan’s capital city.

The recent disasters up north made us imagine the tremendous damage that would occur throughout Japanese society in its entirety should such an event ever hit the Tokyo metropolitan area. The outcome from the damage would be enormous politically, economically, and in many other areas as well.

In addition, depending on the time the disaster occurs, the number of people who may die could count easily 10,000 to 100,000. This is a conservative estimate. Because of this, our group would like to propose to Japanese society the idea of building a new city that can serve as a “backup” for Tokyo. It would be the tentative and second capital city of Japan complete with all functions required to serve as the capital city of the Japanese central government.

To choose the best location for this project we first selected five (5) candidate locations that may qualify as suitable alternate capital cities. The locations must meet the following criteria to be considered:
1. Land size must be approximately 500 hectares and not privately owned:
2. The location must be suitable to hold a city, and not require the razing of mountains:
3. The location must be easy to access:
4. The location must be inland, and not require land reclamation.
5. The distance from Tokyo must be a minimum of 500 kilometers away.

Please take a look at the evaluation tables of five locations in the handout on P14. After considering every aspect we selected the land of Osaka Airport, Itami , as the best location.

There exists some difficully and obstacles to implement such a huge project, especially to dismantle the Itami airport. It may be expected from the local and neighburring people. However, as Governor Hashimoto mentioned in his speech, most of them could be pesuuaded if proper and detailed explanation of the proposal is made. Itami is a defective and limited airport, and could be closed sooner or later. Enormous enviiromental expenses, limited time of operation, considerable distance to the other airport, drastic decrease of passengers after the debut of super-linear shinkansen, and building height restrictions. And it is said that Itami is the most dangerous airport in the world even compared to Futenma Okinawa.(This is Hashimoto’s comment P24~33).
On the contrary, the consraction of new second capital city is more profitable, and the real estate value will increase significantely, and eventually will become more prosperous than at present.

It may take some time to reach the final decision ‘however’, Itami appears to be the best for constructing the new capital. No land needs to be purchased or developed. It is an accommodating flat space for new urban planning. Moreover, the site already possesses valuable social infrastructure such as its highway connections and its close proximity of less than 3 kilometers to the nearest Shinkansen line. The location is convenient and less cost.

The Kanku and Kobe airports, which will be connected by an underwater tunnel, can become a two-in-one airport. Kanku would be responsible for international carriers, while Kobe would be accountable for domestic flights. In this way we plan to raise the Kanku-Kobe Airport to become a hub airport of Asia, open 24 hours a day.

This proposed land consists of both governmental and private sectors. Within the governmental sector, there is space for parliamentary activities, for bureaucrat’s ministerial space, and also for diplomatic area for ambassadors and consulates.
We plan to build a crisis management center in the middle of the city with direct contact to the Prime Minister’s offer in Tokyo and 47 prefectual govermment offices in time of emergency (P17).

The most considerable challenge of this proposal is how to finance such a massive project. We have succeded, however, to include the initial and preliminary research budget in the Third Supplement Bill for reconstruction from the earthquake. This is one of the budget items in the bill to be definitely passed in this present Diet session.

As for the private sector, we have been studying from successful stories such as Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai and other cities that have built up elaborate,modern,and sizable cities in an amazing1y short period of time. Based on our studies, we must succeed in inviting private capital such as funds and reits. In order to attract substantial foreign and domestic investments, there are terms and conditions we must present for an attractive investment climate in the areas of taxation, interest rates for financing, and many other aspects. We are presently preparing a new legislative proposal in this line. Another point of summative importance is the project itself. It must be attractive and worthy of investment.

Our proposal has three primary goals. One aim is to prepare a ‘backup’ capital of
Japan. Governor Ishihara of Tokyo said, “I am against moving the capital of Tokyo outside of the city, but I admit the necessity of a backup capital city.” You can see pages, 20-24. in my talk with the Governor. Conversely, Governor Hashimoto of Osaka stated, ”Osaka can accept the role of functioning as second capital to backup Tokyo by all means.” The summary of his speech at our study session is cited on pages 24~32.

Let’s look at Tokyo as it is today. We see too much concentration in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Within a small 1 to 2 kilometer radius, for example, we have the Prime Minister’s office, the Emperor’s palace, the Diet Hall, the Supreme Court, the Central Police Headquarters, TV stations, and the head office of the Bank of Japan. Most of the business companies head offices are located in Marunouchi area.

The total population of Japan is 127 million, with approximately 30 percent of our population living in Tokyo’s metropolitan area. In addition to a high concentration politically and in business, we also see congestion in culture, education, welfare, administration, jurisdiction, mass media, and information as well. Imagine the repercussions if the center of Tokyo is ever hit by a major earthquake, like the recent one in Tohoku.

We also have a fear of potential damage to Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka prefecture. This is the oldest station in Japan, facing the Pacific Ocean, and many scientists warn of extraordinary consequences.

Indeed, this is not just an imaginary event. We cannot help but remember those devastating results from the giant Kanto Earthquake that hit Tokyo in 1923. When we examine the record of earthquakes in the area (look at page 40 and 41 in your book, please),we can see major earthquakes of over a magnitude of 7 have been hitting Japan constantly in the past years. The likelihood of another giant earthquake hitting Japan is very high, and scientists are in agreement that it could happen in Tokyo area at any time now, since almost 90 years have passed. If we look at page 38, we can see there are many fault lines on the Japanese islands, especially in the Tokai and Kanto area. Obviously, we cannot leave such a critical situation as it is. We must be prepared in all ways possible for damage from a major earthquake by having a backup site for national government.

The second goal in our plan is to change Japanese society to a “twin-engine” style with the east core of Tokyo and the west core of Osaka, and thus accelerate the national economy’s growth.

The last is to attract substantial and concentrated investments, and to make the city a new driver of an enormous economic boost for the country. It is also expected that New Osaka will grow to be a new core city in East Asia, similar to Singapore, and Shanghai.

Osaka and Kansai district’s current population is already well over 20 million, and the GDP from this area alone is almost the size of Canada’s GDP. Kansai is also lucky to possess various tourist destinations such as Kyoto’s ancient cultural assets, Nara’s old temples and deer park, Osaka’s castle and Kobe, fashion city. Both Kumano Kodo in Wakayama and Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture are world cultural and natural heritage sites. Akashi Channel Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world, and many more valuable, historical sites that attract visitors from around the world.

If we look at pages 4 to 7, we can see the most basic plan for NEMIC. The construction structure of the city is anti-fire and anti-earthquake. The planned population of the new city is 200,000 workers during the day, and around 50,000 residents by night. For a total of 500 hectares. The total ground space is 1.3 million square meters.

The underlying concept of NEMIC consists of four principle characteristics. They are referred to as “MICE” -(M)Meeting-(I)Incentive-(C)Convention-(E)Event.
In addition, we can call NEMIC a new city for Integrated Resort (IR), Tourism, Business, and Back-up capital(IRTBB). We are confident that many people, regardless of their nationality, generation, gender, or age, will be able to enjoy this town and come back again and again.

Timing of the project begins now, 2011 and 2012. This may be the final preparatory stage. The year 2013 is the starting point of the first 5-year phase. Once that is complete, the second 5-year phase begins.

NEMIC will also be home to the highest tower in the world, at 650 meters. We have just constructed the 634-meter Sky-Tree Tower in Tokyo that will open at the end of this year. Its expected to bring in over 80 billion yen annually. NEMIC’s tower will be even taller than the Sky Tree, and we expect favorable economic results.

Another attraction in NEMIC is a casino. As you know, casinos are not yet permitted in this country. Japan is the only advanced country in the world where casinos are still prohibited. About 130 countries in the world allow casinos. Japan admits to many types of gambling already, such as pachinko, horse racing, and motorboat races. Casinos should be authorized to operate in our country. There has been a strong movement in the Diet to open Japan’s doors to casinos, and we are ready to pass a law to do so in the very near future.

Thus, as an Integrated Resort urban city, the target of NEMIC is to become a hub of business and tourism in Asia. It will include first-class hotels, restaurants and theaters museums and other various entertainment options.

Before I conclude my presentation today, I would like to make the following statement:
We have suffered from a long economic recession during the past 20 years after the 1990’s bubble economy. Our GDP has greatly decreased and growth power diminished. We are hoping, however, this project will give Japanese people the new ‘dream and hope’ for the future, especially for the younger generation. We would like to rebuild our nation through these endeavors.
Thank you very much for your attention and patience.