Tokyoites discuss possible capital move

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government held a conference with Tokyo residents and workers Jan. 27 to discuss relocating the capital outside the city.The Tokyo government restated the opinion of some that the issue should be considered very carefully and that reform and decentralization of central government functions should precede any action concerning the relocation. A total of 124 government “monitors,” a group made up of Tokyo residents and workers who provide their opinions and advice on the proposed move, attended the session.Most Tokyo residents who addressed the meeting said they are against relocation. But some who commute into the city from other prefectures said that Tokyo should give other regions of the country an opportunity to prosper.In his opening speech, Katsumi Sasaki, chief of the Policy and Information Bureau of the metropolitan government, said that a recent poll showed that a majority of residents in Tokyo did not even know of the national government’s proposal to relocate the capital. The central government, however, is currently proceeding with a program to select a new site for the capital, and the issue should gather much more public attention, Sasaki said.