Child Friendly Cities Initiative
The CFCI has begun to spread gradually in Japan.
In Japan, preparatory work for the CFCI began in August 2016. After a two-year usefulness check of the CFCI in five municipalities (Niseko Town, Abira Town, Tomiya City, Machida City, and Nara City) starting in October 2018, the CFCI was officially launched in June 2021.
As of 2024, these five municipalities have been recognized as the CFCI implementing municipalities.
In addition, Toyota City has been recognized as a CFCI candidate municipality and is working toward becoming a CFCI implementing municipality.
To date proactive and concrete steps have been taken for promoting the CFCI, including the establishment of a new "Children's Division," the inclusion of the CFCI in the comprehensive plan, the addition of the CFCI as a training item for new employees, the participation of high school students in the evaluation of municipal projects (see the Machida story), and the participation of children in the reconstruction of schools destroyed in the earthquake. These are clear indications that the CFCI is an important program for Japanese municipal management.
In April 2023, Children’s Basic Law came into effect and the Children and Family Agency was also established. Amidst a mountain of issues surrounding children, such as child poverty, abuse and bullying, major changes have occurred in Japan's child-related systems and laws. The Japanese government has begun a full-scale effort to promote children's rights. This is in step with UNICEF's CFCI and is expected to increase the number of municipalities in Japan that engage in the CFCI.