Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Akita City has been engaged in Age-friendly City Initiatives since 2009. In 2011 the City primarily and solely became the Global Network partnership in Japan and formulated Akita City Age-friendly City Action Plan in 2013. Its fundamental principle is to create a livable community that people are able to participate in and contribute to the society even after getting old, which each department of the City cross-sectorally and continuously work together. Age-Friendly Akita Citizen Association, the leading institution established in 2013, is willing to work hand in hand with the City to put planning into action. Some typical examples are as follows. First, the Coin Bus Project, which elderly person is qualified to ride a fixed-route bus for 100 yen, has been introduced since 2011, with lowering the qualifying age to 68 years or older from 70 in 2013. Secondly, the Care Support Volunteer System, which elderly person is entitled to receive a grant up to 5,000 yen a year for the service in nursing homes. In order to move AFC Initiatives forward, City of Akita gives special emphasis to the following issues to promote;
- Familiarization and enlightenment of what AFC Initiatives is
- Application of a variety of possibilities by elderly
- Implementation of barrier-free environment
- Securement of transportation for elderly
It is imperative that as many citizens as possible to get involved in the AFC Initiatives and instill its ideas and concept to the whole city, therefore; changes in the consciousness of regional community is required. Thus City of Akita sets out to shift AFC operation of measures and policies from government-base to community-oriented, consisted of firms，associations and citizens. The key to the success of the development of Akita City is that each party challenges Age-friendly City as an overall community.