Tokyo opens 1st road in fireproof initiative

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has opened the first section of a road that is part of its initiative to fireproof neighborhoods packed with wooden houses.

The 1.1-kilometer section in Adachi Ward opened on Monday.

The metropolitan government purchased land to construct the 20-meter-wide road. Officials say it can be used for evacuation and fire-extinguishing operations in case a major fire breaks out after a natural disaster.

Senior civil engineering official Kogiso Masataka says the neighborhood used to have mazelike narrow alleys.

He also says the road helps make the community more disaster-resistant, and hopes residents will make good use of it.
The Tokyo government has been working to expand roads in neighborhoods with high concentrations of wooden houses to prevent fires from spreading in case a powerful quake occurs right beneath the capital.

The initiative covers 28 sections totaling 25 kilometers in length. Officials aim to complete the construction by fiscal 2025.