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Mayor Ko visit Japan to learn about better ways about city improvement

Between January 24th and 30th Mayor Ko headed a team of six senators (Lin Shih-Tsung, Ho Chih-Wei, Huang Hsiang-Chun, Chuang Chi-Ming, Liu Yao-Jen and Yuan Chao-Hsiung) and commissioners from various City Hall departments (Secretariat, Transportation, Social Welfare, Health, Cultural Affairs, Fire Department and Sports) on a visit to three cities in Japan: Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. The goal of the visit was to learn about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics facilities and policies relating to disaster prevention, an aging population, and the cultural and creative industries.
To strengthen the friendship between Taiwan and Japan, the visit included meetings with various important political figures in Tokyo: Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, Tokyo Senate Sigeo Kwai, Tokyo Senate Yoshiaki Yoshino, Tokyo Olympic Commissioner Yoshiro Mori, Former Tokyo Mayor Nobuo Kishi, Senate Toshiharu Furukawa.
The Tokyo visit largely focused on the planning of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including Tokyo Dome, Tokyo station, the mobile hydrogen refueling station, and the layout of the city and facilities. A further goal was to better understand the planning of security, transportation, public utility and public construction policies so that we can use this information as a template for our 2017 Taipei Universiade.
This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of our sister city relationship with Yokohama. Both the visit to Yokohama Mayor Fumkio Hayashi and the meeting with Senator Mitsuru Kajimura (and the newly signed MOU with Yokohama Fire Department in MOU) were highly significant. The Mayor of Yokohama also expressed interested in visiting Taipei later this year.
The visit to Yokohama largely focused on the cultural and creative industries. Locations like the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Bank Art Studio, and the Koganecho Art Centers are all excellent future models for Taipei.
Since the population size, terrain and demographics of Osaka are very similar to those of Taipei, it was essential to meet with the Osaka Mayor Takyuki Higashi, Deputy Mayor Hiroshi Ueda and the former Mayor Tooru Hashimoto in order to share information on policies and experience managing a city.
The visit to Osaka focused on transportation facilities and disaster relief. The team visited Osaka station and the Osaka Transportation department to understand the planning of the station and the disaster relief procedures. During the visit, the team also stopped by the island Naoshima in the Kagawa Prefecture district to learn how they promote their regional culture.
This visit has proved essential to learning about better ways to city improvement and also strengthening the friendships between our cities. Reports will be made to each department of City Hall on what was learned during the visit, and will be used as a model for improving Taipei City. In this way, Taipei City will be able to elevate itself to an even higher standard as an important international city.