Akita City is the capital of Akita Prefecture and located in the northeastern part of Japan. The population is about 320,700 as of April 2012.
It is estimated that the population ageing rate (age 65+) in Akita City will reach 34.2 percent in 2025. With this in mind, Mayor Hozumi pledged, when he was elected Mayor of Akita in 2009, to make our city Age-friendly. Since then, the significant efforts have been made.
As a first step, Akita City Age-friendly City Vision Promotion Group was set up in 2010. This group was composed of nine members from a variety of fields such as academics, welfare, and senior citizens. They discussed what to do to promote the concept of Age-friendly City. The group made proposals to Mayor Hozumi on the four important issues: to change the negative images of the older people and ageing society into the positive ones, to promote the barrier-free society, to secure transportation, and to prevent the social isolation of older people.
The following year, 2011, Akita City started Coin Bus Project in October. Older residents (age 70+) can ride a fixed-route bus for 100 yen (= 1 euro) regardless of the distance. It helps older people living in Akita City go out and participate in social activities more frequently.