Caixin
Mar 26, 2022 10:00 AM
WORLD

Weekend Long Read: Japan’s Ancient Capital Sinks Into Financial Distress

Sanjo Bridge, originally built across the Kamo River by order of samurai and feudal lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1590, is located at the west end of Tokaido road and extends to the west end of Nihonbashi in Tokyo. Photo: Chen Lixiong/Caixin
Sanjo Bridge, originally built across the Kamo River by order of samurai and feudal lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1590, is located at the west end of Tokaido road and extends to the west end of Nihonbashi in Tokyo. Photo: Chen Lixiong/Caixin

Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto is sinking deeper into financial trouble.

While many people have pointed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the city’s previously huge tourism industry, often overlooked is the city’s history of poor fiscal management and reluctance to cut its bloated budget.

Kyoto’s fiscal dysfunction can be seen in the Sanjo Bridge, originally built across the Kamo River by order of samurai and feudal lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1590. Left unrepaired for nearly 50 years, its wooden rails are moss-covered, rotting and showing some ugly cracks.

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