Tokyo to build on Thai ties

Tokyo to build on Thai ties

Yuriko Koike, Tokyo's first woman governor, addresses the Bangkok Post International Forum 2021 on Thursday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Yuriko Koike, Tokyo's first woman governor, addresses the Bangkok Post International Forum 2021 on Thursday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Yuriko Koike, Tokyo's first woman governor, wants Thais to see a "new" version of Japan's capital city, once it is ready to receive visitors, forging people-to-people ties between both countries.

Speaking virtually during the Bangkok Post International Forum 2021 on Thursday, which was held under the theme of "Unleashing the Future: A Glimpse into 2022 and Beyond", Ms Yuriko said she hopes the people of Thailand can soon enjoy the "new Tokyo".

She said the Japanese city has many wonderful features such as natural beauty, clean air and water, culture and entertainment.

"We hope we can overcome the [Covid-19] pandemic, and from 2022 onward, [we are promoting] people-to-people exchange efforts," she told Thais and foreigners in a three-minute video clip. "We will welcome you all with Japanese style and hospitality."

Ms Yuriko was among several high-level dignitaries and senior leaders invited to share their visions, knowledge and viewpoints on the post-Covid-19 economic recovery and how to cope with the virus' economic impact.

During her speech, she noted that Japan was able to host the Tokyo Olympic Games after it was postponed due to Covid-19.

She said the 2020 Tokyo Olympics faced difficulties for one year due to the delay but Japan received support from people around the world, and she is grateful for it.

"We received high praise from many countries and regions," Ms Yuriko said. "From our well-executed management of the games, as well as our [Covid-19] infection control measures, the collective experience that led [us] to the successful hosting of the games is now a valuable asset for us."

"I believe it is relevant to the forum's theme of unleashing the future," she said. "Tokyo will work to promote a sustainable recovery to overcome Covid-19 and allow residents to realise sustainable lifestyles."

She said hydrogen was used to light the Olympic Flame and a part of the athletes' village in Tokyo was powered by the same gas. Tokyo is looking for a way to make this a trend.

At Tokyo, hydrogen was used to fuel cauldrons during the Tokyo Olympics for the first time. According to news reports, previous modern-day Olympic flames were fuelled by propane, magnesium, gunpowder, resin and olive oil.

Ms Yuriko said Tokyo is planning to develop a hydrogen station in the former athlete village area and promote the use of the gas in the city. This includes the introduction of a pipeline to ensure a stable supply of hydrogen, which is the first of its kind in Japan, she said.

In addition, she said Tokyo wants to make its infrastructure accessible to everyone, including the elderly and those with disabilities so they can play an active role in society.

"The Games were our chance to show the world what Tokyo can do and how we are continuing to develop the city," she said.

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