Supplementary Budget to Be Presented in November

 With an eye toward the prefectural assembly session in November and December, we will begin full-scale preparation. We are planning to present the initial supplementary budget proposal worth more than 1 billion yen, and are estimating the amount of the additional supplementary budget now. After combining the wisdom of all the personnel across the prefectural administration and collecting and summarizing the information, I will convoke the Tottori prefectural task force on emergent employment and economy measures and engage in detailed discussions in order to make additional proposals during the assembly’s session in December.  Today we will launch a working group aimed at exchanging ideas on the actual situation of material industries and discussing strategies for industries in Tottori Prefecture to survive and grow amid harsh conditions including appreciation of the yen.

Exchanges with Khabarovsk Krai

 Yesterday we invited Governor Shport from Khabarovsk Krai and issued a joint declaration regarding our friendship exchanges. Next month, we are planning to hold an event in Khabarovsk City aimed at introducing Tottori Prefecture’s commercial products, and will dispatch our delegation there. We see this kind of event as the first of the friendship exchanges.

Seminar of Experts in Transport Section of GTI

 It’s been decided that Tottori Prefecture will host a seminar of experts in the transportation sector of the GTI (Greater Tumen Initiative), which is a part of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) next month. Not only the staff members of the UNDP but also the ministry officials in charge of transportation in China, South Korea, and Russia are scheduled to be invited and visit Tottori. In order to seize this opportunity and promote our ship service across the Sea of Japan, we are planning to hold a forum and exchange ideas with the participation of prefectural residents.

Film Shooting of “Koitani-Bashi” in Tottori

 A film titled Koitani-Bashi [Koitani Bridge] has been arranged for shooting in Tottori Prefecture sometime soon. This film is set at and depicts Misasa Onsen Spa in central Tottori Prefecture. I hope and expect that it will be a timely and encouraging film for the viewers. With an eye to its release scheduled for next year, the prefectural administration will provide support for the promotion campaigns and relevant events for sales of goods and products in the Tokyo area.

Invitation of Relevant Parties for Cultural Strategy Council

 Today several composers and writers who are members of the “Enjin 01 Cultural Strategy Council ” are scheduled to visit Tottori Prefecture and hold a discussion with an eye to their open college, which will be held next fiscal year in Tottori. We are promoting and developing Tottori Prefecture as a resort for artists. In addition to the International Manga Summit to be held in Tottori in 2012, some unique performing arts activities are starting to be launched and based in Tottori Prefecture, as exemplified by BIRD Theatre Company TOTTORI. We will seize this occasion and publicize such activities and circumstances to major cultural figures nationwide.

Broadcasting of Korean TV Drama Athena

 The Korean TV drama Athena will start to be broadcast on December 13 in South Korea. In line thereto, we will start preparations in order to attract visitors to Tottori by using such media as blogs and advertisement and sending out information on Tottori Prefecture in South Korea. We are also conducting measures as needed for accepting and welcoming tourists with the participation of the tourism sector in Tottori Prefecture. We will try our best and make the most of this opportunity.

Strategy to Open up the Market in Kansai Region

 With the season of the trade war with Oseibo [year-end gifts] around the corner, Tottori Prefecture will conduct sales campaigns in Keihanshin Region [a region in and around Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe] with the utilization of newspaper inserts, as our new independent measure. The trade procedure is commissioned to Tottoriken Bussankyokai [Tottori Products Association, as tentatively translated] and cultivation of markets is under way with the utilization of major websites. If this initiative turns out to be successful, we are going to conduct this kind of strategies for sales and market cultivation every quarterly period toward next fiscal year.

Q. What do you think of the abolishment of prefectural high schools’ course in special studies for university entrance examination?

 The decision to abolish it was made by the prefectural assembly in its September session, and I should and will approve it. The point is to conduct measures for the improvement of the education level of children from now on. A unified lower and upper secondary school program will be one of the options for the improvement. In Sakaiminato City [in western Tottori Prefecture], local people are actively engaged in education-related activities. It will be necessary to learn from such good examples and develop “the Tottori Style Educational System.”

Q. What kind of capacity will the Chugoku Region need to be endowed with for regional takeover of the tasks of the national government’s local agencies?

 As for the construction of expressways, Tokyo should take responsibility for their focused investment and final completion. The prefectural side will be able to prepare ourselves and take over almost all of the other tasks, I think. In the meeting of the Chugoku regional governors' association held yesterday, all the five prefectural governors unanimously confirmed that we will prepare ourselves to be capable of taking over the tasks. From now on, I think that we will focus on specific details, such as how to share the clerical tasks.

Q. How appropriate do you think it will be, considering the fact that Tottori Prefecture already partially participates in the Greater Kansai Association?

 I think there will be no problems if we deal with it case by case. For example, the Greater Kansai Association could be able to manage and operate the San’in Coast National Park, which covers Kyoto and Hyogo and Tottori Prefectures. Flexibility will be possible on the actual administrative units.

Q. Regarding the transfer of control on Polytechnic Centers to the regional side, am I right in understanding that Tottori Prefecture can never accept the transfer conditions as currently suggested by the national government?

 [After the reporter’s mentioning that the five prefectural governors of the Chugoku Region opposed to the said transfer in their joint appeal,] That’s right. According to Tokyo’s suggestion, budgetary support will be provided to the local autonomies which will take over control of Polytechnic Centers [Polytechnic Center: national job training facility in Japan] for a period of two years. But it takes longer than two years to provide job training, and they cannot be operated without financial resources. Rather, the financial resources themselves should be transferred to the regional side, I think. Out of concern that this case could set a bad precedent regarding transfer of control to the regions, we decided to take this timing and express our opposition.

Q. Will the total of the supplementary budget in November amount to about 10 billion yen, as previously estimated? And will a large portion of the supplementary budget be used for economy and employment measures?

 Although it’s not clearly finalized yet, we are compiling the budget plan with a view to setting the amount at about 10 billion yen in total. A major portion of the supplementary budget to be proposed in November will be allocated to economy and employment measures. In the questionnaire survey to the local companies in Tottori Prefecture conducted at the beginning of November, various opinions were collected, including those about the appreciation of the yen, which negatively impacted their business. These opinions will be taken into account in the compilation of the economy and employment measures.

Q. Regarding the projects termed “revised or abolished” in the project screening of Tottori Prefecture, do you think that their budget should naturally be reduced?

 [After the reporter’s mentioning that the last national project screening ended up seeing the increase in the budget of some projects which had been subject to the screening or failed to be reflected in the budget plan in some cases,] We will examine the details of the screening before making the final decision, but we will respect the opinions presented in the project screening to the fullest. We will also publicize the results of the project screening, and the way the results are reflected in the budget plan, to the prefectural residents in a clear manner. After that, we will collect opinions and criticisms from the prefectural residents in order to make this kind of revision every year.

Q. Regarding the management of the national health insurance, the MHLW proposed that the prefectures should take responsibility as the main party in charge. What’s your take on the pros and cons of this measure?

 [MHLW: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare] It would be worthwhile discussing whether or not the prefectures will take certain roles in the management, I think. However, I don’t think any solutions will be achieved if Tokyo abandons and thrusts responsibility on prefectures for the increasing medical costs resulting from the aging of the population. The normal and natural approach will be for the national government to design the framework of the national insurance system which every national citizen can join at first, and then to propose discussions to the prefectures.

Q. What do you think of the joint appeal of the governors’ association of the Chugoku Region regarding the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)?

 [After the reporter’s mentioning that the appeal only calls for consideration for agriculture and sufficient discussions upon deliberation of the policies, and that it lacks strong assertion on whether joining the TPP is appropriate or not,] It was very meaningful that all the members of the association could share the common awareness that participation in the TPP would put the agricultural sector in dire straits. As a person in charge at the working level, I will be ready to make strong demands so that the burdens will not be imposed on sectors such as agriculture.