Bicycle Ministry To Promote Cycling in Japan
TOKYO, Japan – In an attempt to coordinate the county’s national cycling policy a parliamentary working group proposed the creation of a Ministry of Bicycle Promotion.
Currently cycling policy in Japan is handled by multiple governmental bodies. The police establishes the rules of the road, while the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism governs infrastructure, and the National Public Safety Commission publishes yet another set of rules for bicycles.
As a result cyclists often report confusing and even contradictory laws. The proposed Bicycle Ministry would bring Japan’s disparate efforts to promote and improve cycling under a single cabinet level executive office.
This working group to promote bicycles is chaired by 68-year-old Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, an avid long-distance road cyclist. The draft proposal says the Minister of Bicycles should be a cyclist, and it is reported that members of the working group are pushing Tanigaki to take the proposed post.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
The draft proposal calls on the government to promote cycling as an effective means of transportation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The new ministry, if accepted, would review and simplify existing traffic laws as they relate to cycling, and would be tasked with developing bicycle infrastructure such as cycle tracks and bicycle parking.