May 17, 2007

JAMA Proposes Measures
to Enhance Japan's Road Transport Infrastructure

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (under the chairmanship of Mr Fujio Cho) has issued its Proposal on Appropriate Strategies for Road Transport Infrastructure, a package of recommendations aimed at defining the core directions that need to be followed to enhance Japan’s road infrastructure in the years ahead.

Against the background of a declining population and a graying society, Japan’s transport sector faces serious challenges on a number of fronts.  These include achieving greater road safety, reducing the environmental impact of road transport through improved traffic flow, revitalizing local communities, and advancing the overall status of the nation’s road infrastructure, which in various respects has not kept up with changing realities.

JAMA’s proposal has been formulated taking into account the next Priority Infrastructure Development Plan (for fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2012) and the Mid-Term Road Network Development Plan now under study by the Japanese government.  To improve the nation’s road transport infrastructure, JAMA has proposed ten specific measures from the following four perspectives: (1) More comfortable mobility for all road users; (2) greater road safety; (3) reduced congestion and environmental impact; and (4) road network improvements that contribute to economic development.

Concerted action must be taken promptly in order to:

  • Use with maxiumum efficiency the limited resources available for such projects;
  • Achieve the government targets for which deadlines are drawing near (for example, reducing the number of Japan’s road fatalities to under 5,000 by 2012 and achieving its first-period commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in the 2008-2012 timeframe); and
  • Meet the targets of the Mid-Term Road Network Development Plan and other goals over the next ten years.

JAMA’s proposal calls for speedy project implementation based on priority outlays into optimally effective measures for improving Japan’s road transport infrastructure.

[See below for more information on this proposal.]

Ten Specific Measures to Enhance Japan’s Road Infrastructure

1.  For More Comfortable Mobility for All Road Users

Objectives:  To formulate responses to societal changes in Japan linked to its aging and declining population, so as to revitalize local communities nationwide through the construction of roads facilitating the conduct of everyday activities and providing comfortable mobility for all road users, including persons with restricted mobility.

Measure 1: Build high-quality and user-friendly roads.
Measure 2: Build roads that support everyday activities in regional areas.

2.  For Greater Road Safety

Objectives:  To expand and enhance safety provisions on local roads, construct “disaster-resistant” roads and ensure a safer road network by upgrading older roads.

Measure 3: Build roads that help reduce accident occurrence.
Measure 4: Build road networks that can withstand natural disasters.
Measure 5: Implement maintenance projects to extend road longevity.

3.  For Reduced Congestion and Environmental Impact

Objectives:  To implement infrastructural solutions that eliminate bottlenecks and mitigate congestion patterns so as to improve traffic flow and thereby reduce CO2 emissions and the overall environmental impact of road transport.

Measure 6: Implement early countermeasures at key congestion points.
Measure 7: Promote the use of expressways.
Measure 8: Adopt comprehensive measures to discourage on-street parking.

4.  For Improved Road Infrastructure that Contributes to Economic Development

Objectives:  To contribute to sustained economic development in the context of a declining and aging population by expanding interregional trunk road networks and implementing other measures promoting greater self-reliance, prosperity and international competitiveness for regional economic zones.

Measure 9: Enhance trunk road networks.
Measure 10: Build direct access routes to airports and maritime ports from expressways.