ALMEC / Planning & Management Consultant

Topics 2023

Jun. 2023

Road Safety Seminar "Toward Zero Drunk Driving Society in Vietnam" Held in Hanoi

May 30, 2023—JICA Survey Team headed by Tokai Denshi Ltd. in association with ALMEC Corporation held Road Safety Seminar—Toward Zero Drunk Driving Society in Vietnam—in Hotel Du Parc in Hanoi, Vietnam. The seminar was a part of JICA's SDGs Business Model Formulation Survey with the Private Sector for Improvement of Prevention of Traffic Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving Using Alcohol Breathalyzer System and Education Support in Vietnam.
Building on the outcomes of the survey, the seminar aims to consider possible approaches through public-private partnerships to promote efforts to prevent traffic accidents caused by drunk driving that is currently a major social problem in Vietnam.
As panelists, representatives from Police Science Institute (PSI) of People’s Police Academy (PPA), National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), and the public transport operator TRANSERCO provided precious insights in each presentation. The participants of the seminar proactively exchanged their opinions on how to push forward the prevention of the traffic accidents caused by drunk-driving in Vietnam, having built on the preceeding presentations on outcomes of the JICA's Survey by Tokai Denshi and TRANSERCO as well as the Japan’s experience presented by Japan Breath Alcohol Testing Consortium (J-BAC).
The number of participants counted 68 from diversified backgrounds including the government agencies, Hanoi City , both Veitnamese and Japanese firms from different industries such as medical, logistics, trading, and finance.
After the seminar, the seminar hosts and organizer recieved various comments including “Vietnam requires to further develop its solid policy that serves as a backbone for various activities for prevention of drunk-driving” from a government officer, “the seimnar helped me understand how dangerous a drunk driving is” from a business person, and others. We hope this seminar serves as a first step for a new collaboration involving industry, government, and achademia from both Vietnam and Japan to eradicate traffic accidents by drunk driving. (Jun. 2023)

Seminar details (JICA Vietnam office on Facebook Page)

Area of business concerned: "06 Planning and Implementation of Transportation Measures"

photo: Seminar Room
Seminar room
photo: Mr Sugimoto providing his speech
Mr. Sugimoto, CEO of Tokai Denshi Inc. (photo by Mekong ASEAN)
photo: Product line-up of Tokai Denshi
Product line-up of Tokai Denshi, including the robot operation manger using AI that is under development (photo by Mekong ASEAN)

Dr. IWATA, Chairman of ALMEC Provides Keynote Speech at 35th Anniversary of the HCMC University of Transport

On May 16th, 2023 the HCMC University of Transport organized the 35th Anniversary and invited various authorities and experts. Dr. Iwata Shizuo, former Director General of ALMEC Corporation, who is well known among the academic societies and agencies in HCMC, was invited to deliver a presentation on new approach to high-speed railway development in Vietnam.
Dr. Iwata stresses on the feasibility of high-speed railway development concepts, and with that, delivers an approach that can develop a new high-speed line while maintain and improve the existing railway services and infrastructure, requiring the least changes to the existing institutional framework in Vietnam.
However, realizing that the current preferences of Vietnam (either the northern section or the southern section, about 400km long each) would still be too much a burden for Vietnam and it will take too long until they will be in operation, Dr. Iwata elaborates his 10-year-old concept, namely the 70km long section of HSR in the Central Region, from Danang to Hue. Dr. Iwata explains it would help reducing train travel time between Da Nang and Hue, two big tourism destinations, by three hours by removing the bottlenecks, and also will provide ample opportunities for TOD, especially in Da Nang. (Jun. 2023)

Event details (HCMC University of Transport website / Vietnamese)

photo: keynote speech at HCMC University of Transport
Dr. Iwata providing keynote speech at HCMC University of Transport
figure: New concept for the 70km HSR section
New concept for the 70km HSR section

May 2023

Tetsuo Kidokoro, Senior Consultant, was Awarded the International Contribution Award from the Institute of City Planning of Japan

Tetsuo Kidokoro, Senior Consultant, Comprehensive Planning Division, Overseas Department, was awarded the International Contribution Award from the Institute of City Planning of Japan.
International Contribution Award from the Institute of City Planning of Japan is presented annually by the Institute to individuals who have been involved in international exchange in urban planning for many years and have contributed to exchange with overseas countries, as well as to the spread of awareness and human resource development. ( May 2023)

Details of the award (Institute of City Planning of Japan website)

photo: Awards ceremony
Awards ceremony

Publicity Panels on Cooperation between Belgrade and Japan in the Field of Public Transportation were Exhibited in Belgrade

The "Project for Modernization of Public Urban Transport in the City of Belgrade" (hereinafter referred to as "The Project") is undertakings various efforts to improve public transport services in the City with The Secretariat for Public Transport (hereinafter referred to as "SfPT").
Japan's cooperation with Belgrade City in the field of public transportation can be traced back to "The Project for Rehabilitation of the Public Transportation Capacity in Belgrade City" 20 years ago. The Project is doing panel exhibition at Kalemegdan Park to introduce Japan's continuous support for Belgrade's ever-changing public transportation challenges and how Japan can help citizens become more familiar with public transportation.
The Project will continue to further improve public transport services in the city through a good relationship with cooperation with SfPT. (Apr. 2023)

Project details (JICA website)

Area of business concerned: "05 Urban Transportation Projects"

photo: Displayed panel
Panels at the Kalemegdan Park
Panel face
One of the panels displayed

Apr. 2023

Conducted the First Japan Study Tour for the JICA M-MAP2 Project in Thailand

The first Japan Study Tour was conducted as a part of the “The Project for Enhancing Capacity of Formulation of the Second Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region (M-MAP2)” (JICA). From 3rd April to 14th April 2023, 15 members of the Department of Rail Transport participated it including Director General, Dr. Pichet Kunadhamraks and Director of Strategy and Planning Division, Mr. Ruendej Mangkorndejsakul.
The Study Tour provided lectures from academia experts on the formulation of a master plan for mass rapid transit systems, including demand forecasting. It also includes lectures and site visit to the Tokyo Metro, JR East, Utsunomiya LRT, to learn not only about their railway business but also about the urban planning around the stations, such as Toranomon Hills Station and Takanawa Gateway. During the visit to Toyo Rapid Railway, the participants experienced the through operation from the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line and also learned about urban development around Yachiyo Midorigaoka Station (Yachiyo City) and Funabashi Nichidai-mae Station (UR Urban Renaissance Agency).
On the last day, DRT staff and Director General Dr. Pichet gave a presentation on what they have learned in the Study Tour and future issues for the railway development in BMR. All of the participants appreciated that this Study Tour deepened their understanding of Japan’s railway development and integrated urban development, which they had leanred only through lectures. (Apr. 2023)

Project details (JICA website)

Area of business concerned: "03 Urban Transportation Planning"

photo: Study tour 1
Group Photo with Cherry Blossom
photo: Study tour 2
Site Visit at the Platform of the renovated Toranomon Station
photo: Study tour 3
Site visit at the urban development at the Takanawa Gateway Station

Feb. 2023

Experienced Traffic Congestion in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

As part of the "Global ITS Capacity Building and Trend Survey", I visited Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire for two weeks in March 2023 to investigate the local transport situation and ITS progress. Cote d'Ivoire is the third most powerful economy in the West Africa after Nigeria and Ghana, and has a large influence in the French-speaking world. The currency is the CFA franc, which is used by 8 West African countries.
With Abidjan's growing urbanization, traffic congestion has become a serious problem. During the commuter rush hours, one side of the street is jammed with heavy traffic, while the other side is rather a different world with almost no vehicles. There are many islands, and the bridges connecting the islands are always the bottlenecks. Public buses and shared-ride buses are operating well, but the number of taxis is overwhelming, so the local government and donors from various countries are focusing on how to shift users to public transport. In addition to JICA, the World Bank, African Development Bank, AFD of France, Chinese government, and Millennium Challenge Corporation of the U.S. are implementing various projects, especially the construction of metro line 1 is promising. Road construction includes several PPP projects led by the private sector. Even if ETC is installed people tend to pay in cash on toll roads. According to the road management unit, by increasing the number of ETC lanes, users would notice the convenience and slightly change to ETC.
Many people are also selling water, fruits, remote controls, toys, and carpets in the midst of traffic congestion. This is one of the causes of traffic congestion, but I thought it was really hard for them to work and earn money under such working environment with high risk of accidents. Traffic planning is not only about traffic improvement and safety, but also about securing jobs to support their livelihood as a social consideration.
I felt that what transport should focus on is not only the construction but also ITS and traffic safety on the soft side. It would be good to start early, especially since long-term efforts are needed to change traffic behavior and awareness of the citizens. (Feb. 2023)

Li Chen-Wei

Area of business concerned: "03 Urban Transportation Planning"

photo: Road traffic situation in Abidjan 1
One-way Traffic Congestion during Commuter Rush Hours
photo: Road traffic situation in Abidjan 2
People Selling Their Products in the Traffic
photo: Road traffic situation in Abidjan 3
Sign of ETC Gate

Traffic situation in Brunei

Brunei Darussalam, a small country in Southeast Asia, is a rich country with abundant oil and natural gas. The 2021 current GDP per capita is over USD30,000, and Bruneians are exempted from medical and education fees and several taxes.
Most people in Brunei heavily depend on cars for their daily lives. Even the residents of Kampong Ayer, the largest water village in the world, also have their cars parked on the land. On the other hand, when you cross a non-signalized street, you will often see drivers giving way to you. This pedestrian-priority culture embedded in Bruneians' minds is sure to contribute to a safer road society.
The ASEAN-Japan Road Traffic Safety Joint Study (MLIT) aims to share road safety issues and challenges among ASEAN Member States. I hope that, sharing this kind of social customs as well as besides best practices in each country would enhance road safety in the ASEAN region. (Feb. 2023)

Tomohiro Ito

Area of business concerned: "07 Planning and Implementation of Transportation Measures"

photo: Traffic situation in Brunei 1
People crossing the road in front of the bus terminal
photo: Traffic situation in Brunei 2
Kampong Ayer, the largest water village in the world

Jan. 2023

Conduct of Household Interview Survey along Pre-opening MRT Line 6 in Dhaka

In Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, the urban railway Line 6 started its pre-operation at the end of 2022.
Based on the Strategic Transport Plan for Dhaka, which ALMEC prepared under the technical cooperation of JICA in 2016, Dhaka City has worked on urban railway development. The remaining sections of Line 6, Line 1 and Line 5 (Northern Line) will be developed with Yen-Loan in future. In line with those development, JICA Research institute has initiated the research to examine socio-economic impact of the urban railway development on residents along the railway lines. As its base-line survey, ALMEC conducts household interview Survey. Computer-assisted personal interview with tablets is applied for efficient interview and data analysis.
The Research intends to conduct post-operation survey 2 or 3 years after the railway opening and to quantify the changes of people’s life and traffic behaviour by comparing with the result of pre-opening survey. It is expected that the research will be useful to verify urban railway network development in future. (Jan. 2023)

Area of business concerned: "12 Research and Development"

photo: Line 6 in pre-opening
Line 6 in pre-opening
photo: Interview survey conducted using tablets
Interview survey conducted using tablets