Benefits of Congestion Charge in Tokyo Since the 1940s, motorization has increased rapidly around the world, particularly private vehicles. The trend has created both economic and individual benefits. The development resulted in the prosperity of the metropolis, while regional areas declined steeply in scale. In Japan, the least number of vehicles per household by prefecture was Tokyo with 0. 497(Automobile Inspection Association, 2009). Nevertheless, there are chronic enormous traffic jams in Tokyo. Congestion charging systems have been considered because many suburbanites have gathered to work, study and make a purchase in the city.
As a result of the consideration, the new systems have been practised in many cities, such as Oslo, Singapore and London, to resolve urban traffic congestion. At the end of the 20th century, the issue of whether or not the congestion charging system is necessary for Japan, especially for Tokyo, has become a controversial issue (Obuchi, 2009). It might be maintained that the scheme brings several negative impacts to not only drivers and cities but also economies and businesses. In contrast, it could be illustrated that this innovative invention can solve environmental problems and recessions.
This essay will discuss whether the congestion charge system is beneficial for Tokyo. It will argue both sides of the debate but will demonstrate that this system leads to positive effects on society. Firstly, economic aspects will be described, followed by environmental issues and finally, this essay will account for benefits on car businesses. It is suggested that congestion charge causes negative impacts to the Japanese economy (Kamakura City, 2001). It is claimed that the new charging scheme should not be introduced to Japan because motorway charges were reduced in order to stimulate the Japanese economy (ibid. , in particular for travel industries and local economies. If the policy was announced, a considerable number of consumers could stop consuming and start to save money on account of their apprehensive attitudes of the increase for the expenses (ibid. ). It may be contended that the new system promotes the recession of the Japanese economy. While the argument has some benefits, it is proven that some drivers travel to the rural cities and the behaviour make active the regions (Transport Committee, 2005). In addition, the tax income of the charging system could be invested in the public transportation in Tokyo.
The development of the transportation could be more comfortable to use and the number of users are expected to increase (ibid. ). Transit mall, which is the shared road between pedestrians and the public transportation, is also predicted to be developed to improve convenience for these public vehicles (EST Advisory Committee, 2008). The substantial transportation systems are highly likely to lead to a decrease in road maintenances by the government. It is further reported that economic losses due to congested roads could fall sharply (The Ministry of Land, 2006).
Indeed, the introduction of this revolutionary system enables drivers to save time as well as reduce fuel consumption. Another argument against the installation of the congestion charge is that this plan causes environmental problems, the cases in point are noise pollution brought by the intensive construction of the new facilities. A common objection to the congestion charge is that high levels of noise could affect the children’s blood pressure, heart rate and levels of stress hormones (Acoustical Society of America, 2001).
The validity of this assumption is questionable, it could be demonstrated that this road operation is the best way for the government to assist environmental measures because of a decrease of greenhouse gas (ATN, 2010). A survey calculated that carbon dioxide emissions in London and in Stockholm dropped by 16% in 2003 and 14% in 2006 respectively (The Ministry of the Environment, 2009). In fact, one of the tax revenues for this new scheme was spent on environmental issues with 2million pounds in London (Central London Congestion Charging, 2008).
In 1997, likewise, Japan organised the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The treaty (United Nations, 1998) indicates: It was to establish a legally binding international agreement, whereby all the participating nations commit themselves to tackling the issue of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. Although Japan’s target was a reduction of 6% from 1990 levels by the year 2012, it might be difficult to achieve the objective, but the definite charging plan might inspire Japan to approach the aim effectively.
A heated debate about the influence on car businesses has become another argument against the use of congestion charge. It has been contended that car consumption would experience a sharp decrease owing to the new device (Environment of Tokyo, 2010). It has been also claimed that the automobile industry, which has been protected by the Japanese government since World War II and taken the major role in the economy (University of Tokyo, 2004), would lose the power and might be difficult to compete with foreign companies.
On the positive side, it has been asserted that the changes could be a large number of opportunities for the Japanese motor vehicle industry because the new technologies, such as electric cars and hybrid ones, could be developed (Nakamura,2010). These cars could provide not only cheaper charging costs and repairing fees for drivers but also reductions in air pollution. If the automobile manufacturers produced these cars more effectively, these companies could improve their market share around the world (ibid. ). Correspondingly, it could be found that these car makers conduct the economy to recovery from the recession.
Indeed, for example, an advertising industry has been hard hit since the year 2008 (Sanno University, 2009), this main reason was the decreases in the exposure of automobile companies. In conclusion, the main aim of this essay has been illustrated that congestion charge plays a beneficial role for Tokyo not only in terms of economic aspects and environmental issues but also with regard to car businesses. It has been shown that the congestion charge scheme enables the Japanese economy to improve, in particular, development of public transportation in Tokyo and the activation in regional areas.
The government can spend great deal of revenue from the charge and reduce significant expenditure for road maintenance on economic development. It has also been demonstrated that the congestion charge system could contribute to the solution for the environmental problems, in other words, air pollution can be reduced by means of this charge strategy. This charge operation might also encourage Japan to follow the global treaty. Furthermore, it has been seen that the Japanese car industry is projected to develop due to the new system.
It is probable that the unique technological innovation, for example the development of the electric cars, encourages the auto makers to compete against other international car companies. Additionally, the charging plan is anticipated making a major contribution to the improvement in not only car companies but also other industries, such as the advertising market. In general, therefore, it would seem to be the case that the congestion charge should be implemented in Tokyo. (1156 words) Bibliography Acoustical Society of America (2001).
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