Bridge authority moves offices out of Tokyo

Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authorities, the first special corporation to relocate its head office outside the capital, stepped up its moving operations Mar. 7 in preparation for beginning business at its new head office in Kobe’s Chuo Ward on Mar. 5.

The move is part of measures to disperse government offices currently concentrated in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Some of the corporation’s officials who hail from western Japan welcome the move because it will take them closer to their hometowns, but others oppose the relocation, saying they are being driven away from the capital.

Currently, some 200 officials remain in Tokyo, manning the corporation’s headquarters in Minato Ward. Of them, all but 12 appointed to staff its new Tokyo office will be moved to the Kobe office over the weekend.

Of the about 6.1 billion yen appropriated to pay for the move, most has been put toward the construction of 80 housing units in Kobe for the bridge authorities’ personnel and their families. President Ryoichi Fujiwara says the move will allow the organization to develop closer relationships with those concerned with its work because the new head office is nearer to the bridges it is responsible for. Meanwhile, the rent for its new Kobe office will be one third of that for its former Tokyo headquarters.