The Bubble Economy (1985-1995): Suzuki Shunichi’s Propaganda for Tokyo Teleport Town

Suzuki Shunichi was the governor of Tokyo from 1979 to 1995. Throughout his whole governance he advocated the development of Odaiba as a utopistic future world city. Such plans has taken its primitive form in the first “Long Term Plan for Tokyo” in 1984 as a reclaimed waterfront zone then developed into a much more elaborated plan in the second “Long Term Plan” in 1987.

The year of this document is unknown; but with reference to Suzuki’s first speech that mentioned the term “Tokyo Teleport Town” given in 1985 [1], it can be estimated that the pamphlet was released to the public during the period between 1985 to 1987.

The following is the translated text extracted from the pamphlet:

“Towards the Development of Tokyo Teleport Town (Rinkai Fukutoshin)

The construction of Tokyo Teleport Town has transformed the city structure of Tokyo from a single-centered type to a multi-centered type, and has also become an era of internationalization and informationization. The aim is to create an ideal future-type city in the coastal area while responding accurately to the demands of the city. By the end of 1993, the first stage of construction, major urban infrastructure facilities such as the Tokyo Port connecting bridge (now “Rainbow Bridge”) and new transportation system will be completed, as well as a global “international exhibition hall” open to the world. Core facilities such as the telecom center, a communications hub, will be constructed. In addition, we will proceed with the construction of homes in conjunction with the development of living infrastructure. By the end of 2000, major urban infrastructure facilities will have been developed, and in the beginning of the 21st century, 60,000 people will have lived and 110,000 people will have lived and worked.

By the end of 2000, major urban infrastructure facilities will have been developed, and at the beginning of the 21st century, 60,000 people will be “living”, 110,000 people will be “working” and “leisuring” by the water. Let’s see “Tokyo Teleport Town” full of charm. I will do my best to promote this business for the rich development of Tokyo. I sincerely ask for the understanding and cooperation of Tokyo residents.”

(the above text is translated by Google translate and edited by author.)

The statement sounded nothing but optimistic and ambitious. Drafted under the bubble economy in the late 1980s, little did Suzuki know that the project was going to hit multiple obstacles, like the economic recession after the bubble burst in 1991, criticism from officials and losing the position as the Tokyo governor to Aoshima Yukio, an actor-turned-politician [2].

 

[1] のらえもん, “【湾岸温故知新】東京テレポート構想、夢の跡,” March 19, 2015, https://wangantower.com/?p=12942.

[2] Crowell, Todd., and Stephanie Forman. Morimura. Tokyo : City on the Edge. Hong Kong: Asia 2000, 2002.

 

Reference

のらえもん, “小池知事記者会見、有明アリーナ建設に伴い、一転して湾岸開発に積極的に??,” December 10, 2016, https://wangantower.com/?p=12942.

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