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Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997 23:32:28 +0100
From: Reclaim The Streets
Subject: Mid-August Bumper Issue

Kyoto Expressway - COP3


Links in with major Climate Change Conference...

We,Kyoto Network for Better Transport are encouraging strong opposition to the Kyoto-Expressway Plan and proposing alternative ways of transport.We have two requests for your help.Please circulate this letter broadly to other interested parties.

(1)The following letter is drafted to stop the Kyoto-Expressway Plan.We are going to hand it to Kyoto-City,Kyoto-Prefecture,and Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation and send it to the Ministry of Construction,the Ministry of Environment,and the Prime Minister.Please read it and join us as a supporter by signing.To sign,please fill below and send back to us as soon as possible(If possible,till Aug.30).Both parties and individuals are welcome.


(We support the appeal to stop the Kyoto-Expressway Plan.)


(2)Please send notes of protest by fax to the local and central government and the Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation in Japan.If you can,please send it between Sep.1 and 10.The fax numbers are as follows.
Masumoto Yorikane(Kyoto-City mayor)+81-75-222-4992
Aramaki Teiichi(governor of Kyoto-Prefecture)+81-75-414-4009
Kitamura Kotaro(Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation)+81-6-252-8268

Please send us the copy for reference.
Kyoto Network for Better Transport 81-75-682-7369

Kyoto-City is about to build the Kyoto-Expressway inner city.Kyoto is the most famous tourist city in Japan.It is an ancient capital and has 1200 years of history.So it has been the center of culture until today.There are many temples,shrines,museums,and meeting halls in the city ,and many green hills and rivers around the city.Some are classified as World Cultural Heritage by national government.Many people from foreign countries visit Kyoto every day.But number of tourists have been decreasing for years.The local government is embarrassed about such trend and trying to increase the number of tourists.

For more information about Kyoto,please refer to the following pages -

But,Kyoto-City decided to build five routes or 19.8km of expressway between 1987 and 1993.One of them began to be built this year.These plans are of course not be agreed by residents.Furthermore many citizens even don't know the plan.We have made propositions to the local government to stop the plan ,but they were refused.

On December of this year,COP3(The 3rd Sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) will be held in Kyoto.Vehicles are the only increasing source of CO2 emissions.Kyoto-City says that it is important to stop engines running idle and to promote the use of bicycles and public transport.But they don't stop the expressway plan.According to our calculation,emission by vehicles which use the Kyoto-expressway is as large as 7.71 [?per cent?] of emission from all vehicles in Kyoto in 1990.

We are going to publish the letter to stop the Kyoto-Expressway Plan on the beginning of September.Voices from foreign countries are very valuable.Please tell the local government that you don't want to tour Kyoto full of vehicles and join us as a supporter.

The following is the text of our campaign letter.The original is in Japanese.

Appeal:Stop the Kyoto-Expressway Plan to Improve Kyoto toward the 21st Century Sep.1997

In the face of the COP3(The 3rd Sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) held in Kyoto at the end of this year,Kyoto-Prefecture and Kyoto-City made Local Agenda 21 so that the citizens can get involved in the process of preventing the global warming.We agree to the idea and the basic opinion of them and we are happy to make efforts for their success.

But we cannot help being disappointed with individual action plans,for fundamental issues are overlooked.For one thing,reexamination about the expressway plan which is the core of vehicle-dominated city is fully overlooked in the item of toward environmental friendly transport system.

24 [?per cent?] of CO2 emission in Kyoto-Prefecture is from vehicle use.To reduce this,local agenda of Kyoto-Prefecture and Kyoto-City suggest that it is important to refrain from starting suddenly,to stop engines running idle,and to promote the use of bicycles,public transport,and low emission vehicles.But we are sure that it is indispensable to reexamine the Kyoto-expressway Plan which promote vehicle use.

Kyoto is a historic city which has various cultural assets,and a basin surrounded by hills from three directions.The character of the city doesn't match to heavy road transport.To build the Kyoto-Expressway which promotes vehicles to enter the city centre not only increases CO2 emissions but also destroys environmental friendly communities and lifestyles,so that next generations may criticize our generation.

It is obvious that promoting the use of environmental friendly vehicles will not solve the problem as long as the Kyoto-Expressway is built on the other hand.

We strongly urge that Kyoto-Prefecture and Kyoto-City should immediately stop the Kyoto-Expressway Plan and instead work with citizen groups to find alternative transport systems which give priority to the public transport over private vehicle use,which is the world wide trend.It is the responsibility of Kyoto as the local government of the site of COP3 and the trustee of the historic inheritances.

Kyoto Network for Better Transport Arai Masaharu(Ritsumeikan University)

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