The Administration and Politics of Tokyo

By Charles A. Beard | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

ON February 24th, 1922, the Institute for Municipal Research was established in Tokyo to promote public improvements in that city. The institution was made possible by a bequest of Y3,500,000 contained in the will of the late Mr. Z. Yasuda, supplemented by large gifts from two other Japanese gentlemen. The execution of the trust was vested in Viscount (then Baron) Goto, who was at that time Mayor of Tokyo. Immediately after the inauguration of the Institute, Viscount Goto, its President, honoured me with an invitation to visit Tokyo to co-operate with him and his colleagues in developing their programme of municipal work.

On my arrival in Japan on September 14th, 1922, the Viscount laid before me four definite tasks. First of all, he wished help in arousing a deeper interest in municipal government and public administration among college and university students and among the citizens of the leading Japanese cities. In the second place, he asked me to present to him summaries of American experience in dealing with a number of concrete municipal problems, such as taxation, assessments and transportation. Thirdly, he wanted me to assist the Institute in organising its programme library, and research methods. Finally, Viscount Goto asked me to imagine myself mayor of the city for the time being and to make a report to the citizens on the problems of the municipality, expressing my opinion "freely and without reserve." This volume is the record of my attempt to participate in the interesting and sig-

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