Yilan focused on sharing bikes as an approach for sustainable transportation. As she mentioned, recently just as the bike sharing has developed in China, Japanese government has also tried to promote it to reduce car traffic for sustainability, as well as promoting local transportation. However, bike sharing can only be promoted in local area, it seems not to be a realistic attempt in urban area in Japan. In terms of urban transportation, the situation in Japan is most of all same as China. However, the size of land is absolutely different, is about 25 times smaller than China. Therefore, it is difficult to create space for cycle lane and storage for bicycle in urban areas in Japan. As a result, we have to choice other approaches of sustainable transportation. On the other hand, recently creating underground bicycle storage below streets has increasingly become a interesting trend in Japan.
Above video: Japan Underground Parking Systems
Emissions from automobiles account for 25% of the total CO2 emissions in Tokyo (about 12,280,000 t-CO2 per year). Government has been attempting to reduce greenhouses emissions in Tokyo as a whole by 25% from the 2000 level by 2020. To achieve reduce car traffic they are promoting low environment load automobiles such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen vehicles.
Above image: A hydrogen Vehicle made by TOYOTA
For the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, government aims to realize “Hydrogen Society” by 2020. It has four main objectives. First, it is reduction of the burden on the environment. When hydrogen burns, water only emits so it relates to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. Second, it is the diversification of energy sources.Hydrogen can be produced with renewable energy sources and it also promotes stability in supplying energy. Third, it will create benefits in economics. It means that new demand and new jobs will also be created by the shift to a new energy source. Fourth, it can help to cope with natural disasters. To power the vehicles fuel cell cars create electricity using hydrogen. So, these vehicles can serve as large scale movable generators when natural disasters cause.
Above image: A hydrogen fueling station already built in Tokyo’s Shiba Park
On the other hand, it also has significant issues. For example, it is the high cost of the initial investments required. Setting up a standard hydrogen fueling station costs appropriate JPY 500 million (USD 4.3 million), five times the cost of an ordinary gas station. In addition, due to the shift to the hydrogen vehicles, the demand of ordinary gas station might decrease and they will be transformed into hydrogen fueling station, which might cost expensive as well.However, shifting to hydrogen vehicles might cut airborne pollutants and allow car to run much more quiet. It might also improve the quality of urban life.
THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN. Tokyo Aims to Realize “Hydrogen Society” by 2020 [online], Available from: https://www.japan.go.jp/tomodachi/2016/spring2016/tokyo_realize_hydrogen_by_2020.html [Accessed 14 Jan].
Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Sustainable Environmental Transportation [online], Available from: https://www.kankyo.metro.tokyo.jp/en/other_issues/sustainable_environmental_transportation.html [Accessed 14 Jan].