Relocated Tokyo Metropolitan Blood Center Opens in Shinjuku!

Supply System Enhanced for Times of Disasters

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The base for supplying blood products to medical institutions in Tokyo, the Japanese Red Cross Tokyo Metropolitan Blood Center was recently relocated to newly built premises in Shinjuku-ku. The new center commenced operations on December 14, 2015.

620,000 of blood product the center supplies in a year represent the highest volume in Japan. The center was previously located within the Kanto Koshinetsu bloc blood center in Koto-ku, but the new facility, built over the course of 18 months, was planned with a view to enhancing the supply system for times of major disasters.

Offering a total floor area of 8,287m2, the new center comprises four stories above and one story below ground. In addition to the stockpiling of relief supplies and other items in a storehouse inside the building, benches that can double as toilets following a disaster and cooking stoves for soup kitchens are set up in a park.

Also, with a view to opening the facility to the local community, common spaces are provided. These include an information dissemination area on the second floor, where people can learn about blood donation, and a space on the fourth floor that can be used for volunteer activities.

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After removing their seats, the benches in the park at the new Tokyo Metropolitan Blood Center, which are directly connected to a sewer below, can be used as toilets.

As was pointed out by Japanese Red Cross Society Vice President Yoshiharu Otsuka in his address at the ceremony marking the center’s completion on December 8, “The challenge facing the blood centers of the future will be to discover new value added that will contribute to their local communities.” He also highlighted that the center can be utilized as first-aid station at the time of a major disaster. ”I would like the staff [at the Tokyo Metropolitan Blood Center] to work on the development of a pioneering operation and serve as a prime mover for blood centers throughout Japan,” he said, expressing his high expectations.