Tokyo government seeks public input on Shinagawa development plan

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

The public is being invited to weigh in on the plans for developing a 630-hectare area around Shinagawa Station in Tokyo into a hub for business and international exchanges.

The capital is responding to increasingly fierce competition from other Asian cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong to attract international companies and personnel.

Tentatively titled “Urban development guideline 2014 for the area surrounding Shinagawa and Tamachi stations” and released on July 17 by the metropolitan government, the draft presents seven measures to ensure that “Shinagawa will be a hub for international exchanges to lead Japan’s growth.”

The measures include attracting foreign companies and international conferences to the area, creating living arrangements suitable for foreigners and green spaces, as well as strengthening disaster management.

“(The area) has a growing role to serve as a transportation hub connecting the capital region, the world and domestic cities following development of Haneda airport, which increased the number of international flights, and a plan for a magnetically levitated train,” the metropolitan government said.

Shinagawa is to serve as the main terminal for the maglev when it goes into service in 2027.

The Shinagawa and Tamachi areas will also play big roles in the Olympics in 2020, the government added.

East Japan Railway Co. is planning a new Yamanote Line station in the area that is scheduled to open in 2020.

The new guidelines are a revision of a plan drawn up in 2007 that promoted development in Tokyo’s south. The metropolitan government said changing circumstances led it to revise the guidelines.

Public opinions will be accepted, in Japanese, until Thursday. The guidelines will be finalized in August.