Benefits of Congestion Charge in Tokyo

Topics: Japan, Automotive industry, Congestion pricing Pages: 5 (1613 words) Published: August 28, 2010
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...

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