11 July 2016 | Casey Macfarlane
The ANZCCJ Secretariat took part in an inspection and information cruise tour around the Port of Tokyo on Thursday 7 July, in order to learn about the recent port development in the face of rapid globalisation and economic growth as well as in the lead up the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The Port of Tokyo will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year in style, with a number of upgrades and additions scheduled to be completed in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Built in 1941, the Port is located near the center of the Japanese archipelago which acts as an ideal gateway to Tokyo, the industrial, financial and developing tourism core of Japan. The port has five key functions, as outlined by the crew during the information cruise: logistics, tourism, environment, sports and disaster prevention. The cruise around this world class comprehensive urban port and harbor had two main topics both with a focus on the 2020 Olympics; the development of the Waterfront City and the creation of the Umi-no-Mori Sea Forest.
The purpose of the Tokyo Waterfront city is to stimulate growth and tourism in the area and to revolutionise Tokyo water transportation. The Port of Tokyo authority wants to see Tokyo become the ‘city of water’ and will achieve this by investing in a world-class MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) and International Tourism hub as well as through the creation of a new four-sector town. This project began in 2014 and has so far included the construction of Tokyo Big Sight, ‘Divercity’ Tokyo Plaza, and the DECKS Tokyo Beach. There is hope that this innovation will make a significant contribution to economic value of Tokyo by enabling greater interaction with the rest of the world, thereby evolving the city to become more dynamic in the face of globalisation. To adapt to this new way of conducting business, the Waterfront City will also be a pioneer multilingual area.
The city is made up of four main areas; Aomi, Ariake-Minami, Ariake-Kita and Daiba, all of which will be developed with the attitude of “coexistence with nature”. This means creating a comfortable residential area and a pleasant environment through combining the hectic city life with a relaxed urban life. This promotes urban development while also maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature.
AOMI will be the business and commerce district, with special areas for tourism, exchange and information-technology. This region will have a huge focus on research and development as well as industrial creation, all in an effort to increase Tokyo’s R&D competitive edge.
ARIAKE-MINAMI is the international convention and exhibition hot-spot as well as being used as the staging area for disaster prevention. There will also be a number of sea-side residential areas available.
ARIAKE-KITA is the main residential sector providing urban housing lifestyles with both ocean vistas and lush green park views.
DAIBA is the final sector of the Waterfront city and will act as a seaside commercial zone, as well as seafront housing and urban living zones.
It is estimated that these new sectors will provide over 90,000 jobs and 47,000 homes for people. The total cost of the Waterfront city project is estimated to be ¥2,180 billion and hopefully, this massive investment will bring great economic returns and societal benefits.
Umi-no-Mori (Sea Forest)
The Umi-no-Mori is a fantastic program that began the planning stages in 2005. This project focuses on the reclamation of an old landfill site, 88 hectares in size, which has been completely filled in with waste and soil, to be turned into a large green forest. The soil for the forest is a compost of green waste from city parks and streets, as well as waste soil from water purification plants and heat-treated sewage sludge. This project is a cooperative and collaborative activity for citizens, businesses, NPO’s and governments to participate in. The trees and seedlings are purchased as acorns from elementary students, using funds raised by the Sea Forest fundraising campaign. The forest will be fostered and cared for under the slogan ‘Not just for us, but for our children’ and while it is not yet open to the public, it is scheduled for completion at the end of this year. The Sea Forest will be the site for the Equestrian events at the 2020 Olympic Games!
Looking to the Future
All future developments at the port have long term perspectives, in that they should ensure the continual growth and development of all port activities and allow for all future developments/upgrades of facilities, airspace uses and environmental measures. The Port of Tokyo is an ever evolving organism that supports the lives and lifestyles of 40 million people living in the capital and surrounding areas, and it is therefore critical that support be provided to ensure its ongoing success and expansion, well into the future.