TOKYO, JAPAN – The Japanese government requires cyclists to wear helmets, but the Cycling Embassy of Japan is concerned about the ramifications of the law moving forward. There is no punishment for non-compliance, but the law may become stricter in the future. The Embassy believes that well designed cycling infrastructure should have been built first, and that this law could lead to police harassment and an extra burden for cyclists. Japan currently has a high rate of cycling, and the law may have negative implications for the future of cycling in the country.

The Embassy urges policymakers to prioritize cycling infrastructure, creating city-wide cycling corridors and connected networks of protected bike lanes. To be clear, we are not against helmet usage and we want cyclists to be safe, but we need more investment to make streets safer and reduce the dependence on vehicles. When the streets are free from danger, we won’t need to wear safety gear.