Chiyoda Ward officials, retailers and residents of Akihabara met on Wednesday to discuss whether or not to reopen the so-called “pedestrian paradise” in the area, two months after a man went on a rampage, killing seven people and injuring 10 others on June 6.
Retailers pointed out that sales had decreased, while local residents reiterated their opposition to sexually explicit performances on the street. Others said such street performances gave Akihabara its uniqueness.
Chiyoda Mayor Masami Ishikawa said at the outset that the conference should not only discuss the pedestrian paradise but also look for ways to make the district more attractive for people.
Tourism professional and journalist Yoshinori Morino said, “Akihabara used to be a town where people came to buy gadgets to make something. Now, it's a center of subculture with offices.”
Many locals criticized the proliferation of shops selling sex goods and "off-color" services, as one man put it. "It's sad for locals. Akihabara has lost its dignity," he said.
A committee will research the situation and continue to discuss the revival of the area. The next conference is scheduled to be held in two months.© Japan Today