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Japan: Strengthening the Country's Road Safety Commitment

A country with 127 million population, Japan has a fatality rate of 3.8 per 100,000 population. According to WHO, Japan has strong laws addressing helmet and safety belt use. It is a contracting party to the 1958 and the 1998 Agreements on Vehicle Regulations and the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic. The city of Tokyo is ranked among top safest cities in the world, according to the World Resources Institute’s research.  
H.E. Mr. Hachiro Okonogi, Chairperson, National Public Safety Commission, Minister in charge of Building National Resilience, Minister of State for Disaster Management (responsible for Road Safety)

On 25 September, the Special Envoy met with the Minister, providing him an overview of his role and mandate as a Special Envoy. The Minister commended the Special Envoy’s commitment to reducing global road traffic fatalities, and mentioned that Japan has been offering technical assistance on road safety. The Minister shared that Japan’s road traffic fatalities today are 25% of the 1970’s figure. The Special Envoy congratulated the Minister for such impressive result, and encouraged continued best practice sharing to countries with poor road safety records. The Special Envoy also urged Japanese government to encourage vehicle manufacturers to ensure consistent safety features in vehicles sold around the world. In conclusion, the Special Envoy encouraged Japan to accede to the remaining four UN Road Safety Conventions and invited Japan to contribute, if established, to the potential UN Road Safety Fund.  
Mr. Masato Miyazaki, Special Representative, World Bank 

On 29 September, the Special Envoy met with the World Bank Representative in Tokyo and introduced the terms of his mandate as well as gave an overview of his activities as Special Envoy. Mr. Miyazaki also shared about the nature of World Bank operations and explained that a representative office in Tokyo was primarily serving as a linkage between the World Bank and Japanese government (which is a donor state). Mr. Miyazaki shared, that while they do not focus specifically on road safety, they are involved in infrastructure development, urban safety and smarter cities, where road safety is a major part.  The Special Envoy shared that Japan is not a contracting party to all six UN Road Safety Conventions, and Mr. Miyazaki assured the Special Envoy that he will follow up with the government to encourage accession. The Special Envoy also requested Mr. Miyazaki to explore with the government the possibility of potential contribution to a UN Road Safety Fund, if established. 
Mr. Tetsuo Kondo, Director, UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo

On 29 September, the Special Envoy visited the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo and met with its Director Mr. Tetsuo Kondo. The Special Envoy gave an overview of his mandate, as well as shared about his on-going activities and upcoming priorities. The Special Envoy spoke about UN Road Safety Conventions and urged Mr. Kondo to support the government of Japan in becoming a contracting party to all six UN Road Safety Conventions. They further discussed road safety more broadly and the opportunity that Japan has to serve as a model for neighboring countries with poor road safety records.