Tokyo ward combats demographic decline

Top: The Minami-Ikebukuro Park has been spruced up to include open spaces. Above: Mr Koichi Hikamiyama (left), 43, and his employee Shota Kaneko, 29, in front of the Sheena and Ippei guesthouse in Shiinamachi district in Toshima. Children from Global
Children from Global Kids Higashi-Ikebukuro Daycare on their way to the nearby Minami-Ikebukuro Park, where they would be joined by children of other nearby daycare centres for their daily recreation programme. Toshima mayor Yukio Takano has lobbied for more daycare centres to be built in recent years, reducing the number of children on waiting lists from 270 in 2013 to zero in 2018.ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM
Top: The Minami-Ikebukuro Park has been spruced up to include open spaces. Above: Mr Koichi Hikamiyama (left), 43, and his employee Shota Kaneko, 29, in front of the Sheena and Ippei guesthouse in Shiinamachi district in Toshima. Children from Global
The Minami-Ikebukuro Park has been spruced up to include open spaces. ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM
Top: The Minami-Ikebukuro Park has been spruced up to include open spaces. Above: Mr Koichi Hikamiyama (left), 43, and his employee Shota Kaneko, 29, in front of the Sheena and Ippei guesthouse in Shiinamachi district in Toshima. Children from Global
Mr Koichi Hikamiyama (left), 43, and his employee Shota Kaneko, 29, in front of the Sheena and Ippei guesthouse in Shiinamachi district in Toshima. ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

Mayor's slate of initiatives aims to make Toshima - deemed at risk of vanishing - more liveable

The mayor of Tokyo's Toshima ward, known for the vibrant commuter hub Ikebukuro, may already be 82 years old, but he is by far one of the most progressive leaders in conservative Japan.

Look no further than the slate of initiatives that Mr Yukio Takano has introduced since 2014, when a think-tank sounded the warning that his ward was "at risk of vanishing": its female population aged 20 to 39 was forecast to halve by 2040.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2020, with the headline 'Tokyo ward combats demographic decline'. Print Edition | Subscribe