The first of a series of meetings was held in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward last week to decide on a system of rules and guidelines to ensure the safety of the increasing numbers using the jogging course around the Imperial Palace.
Ward authorities organized the meeting in response to a growing number of runners, cyclists and walkers using the 5-kilometer course for exercise. So far this year, there have been more than 100 complaints from pedestrians about joggers who bumped into them, NHK reported.
The meeting was attended by ward officials, joggers, cyclists, walkers, as well as police and self-governing bodies in charge of the area. The aim is to draw up a system of guidelines to ensure a safe and courteous environment for all visitors who use the course, NHK said.
The course starts near Sakuradamon and continues around the inner moat of the palace. Along the way, joggers pass by the Imperial Palace Public Square, Takebashi and the cherry blossom-famed Chidorigafuchi, then the British Embassy, the National Theater, the National Diet Building, and back again to Sakuradamon.
The number of joggers has increased dramatically this year, even in winter, say ward officials. Joggers say etiquette and the size of the path require them to run in single file in a counter-clockwise direction, but not everyone does. Furthermore, many joggers, who are engrossed in listening to music, are often oblivious to the sights and sounds of approaching pedestrians and cyclists until it is too late.© Japan Today