Lawmakers' group in Japan aims to promote bicycle use with bill

Lawmakers' group in Japan aims to promote bicycle use with bill
A woman rides her bicycle past a cherry blossom tree in bloom at a park in Tokyo

Hoping to encourage a wider use of bicycles, a suprapartisan group of legislators is set to submit a bill to the current Diet session to promote bikes as a form of transportation, according to sources.

The group, called the "League of Legislators for the Promotion of the Use of Bicycles," is headed by Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki.

The bill will be jointly sponsored by the group's members for legislation by the end of the current Diet session, the sources said.

The idea is to reduce people's dependence on motor vehicles and help create a more environment-friendly society while alleviating traffic congestion.

The bill will call for the establishment of a bicycle-use promotion headquarters, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its head, and creating a "bicycle-use promotion minister" to engage in such tasks as helping to improve and widen roads to create bicycle lanes and building more bicycle-parking facilities, they said.

Tanigaki, a bicycle enthusiast for the past 40 years, said at a general meeting of the Diet members' league on April 22, "We are determined to play an active role in creating an environment where people can enjoy cycling throughout their lives."

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