Allocation of Road-Related Budget

 Fiscal year 2009 has started. We need to focus on implementing various economic and employment measures approved in the prefectural assembly’s last session.
 I welcome the motivation in the national political arena for drawing up additional economic measures. As the administration of Tottori Prefecture, we are going to hold an executive meeting now in order to discuss necessary measures and make an urgent appeal to Tokyo for assistance in the issues which we feel concerned about or which we think are not adequately addressed. For example, in spite of the current harsh condition, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport allocated some budget for the expressway constructions (in our region). However, the budget amount is not as sufficient as we expected as a whole, so it’s necessary for us to appeal to the national government for additional allocation. Tokyo seems to finalize the plan in mid-April and we need to voice our call.

Challenges in the New Fiscal Year

 The new fiscal year has kicked off and Tottori Prefecture has commenced our unique projects. One of them is the establishment of the Tottori Sand Dune Office and the start of operation by the Tottori Sand Dune Rangers (as tentatively translated). Another is the organizational inauguration of Livelihood Security Bureau. The bureau will begin operation for Saturdays and Sundays at the consumer service center. The Consultation Network for Building a Society with Respect for Human Rights (as tentatively translated) has also been set up.
 As part of the urgent economic measures package, it’s necessary to support businesses of various sectors, including commerce and industry. Yesterday the Organization for Tottori Industrial Promotion commenced the Projects with Strategic Bases for Regional Cooperation and Vitalization (as tentatively translated). An across-the-prefecture organization is also required for the collaboration of agriculture, commerce and industry sectors. We have begun final arrangements for the smooth start of such measures at the beginning of next week.

Response to the Missile Launch by North Korea

 It’s regrettable that the threat of a missile or satellite launch by North Korea is becoming imminent. I cannot help feeling frustrated that the parties concerned are failing to halt the progress. However, we perceive that Tottori Prefecture is highly unlikely to suffer direct damage, so I would like to ask the residents of Tottori to remain calm. Today we will hold a final communication drill in response to the threat and will have an executive meeting to discuss our response measures in case of contingencies.

Contribution Imposed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

 The other day, it was reported by news media that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is charging local governments the cost for constructing or rebuilding (national) road offices or river offices as part of the local share (for national projects for the benefit of local autonomies).
 We have asked The MLIT to disclose the breakdown of the contribution request, which the ministry has neglected to do. That’s why the National Governors' Association is summing up the current situation and carrying on a movement to appeal to Tokyo for revision for contribution collections. This movement is developing into a nationwide appeals campaign.
 As for the case in Tottori Prefecture, it was revealed that the construction charge in relation to the Izumo River Office of MLIT’s Chugoku Regional Development Bureau included the reconstruction cost for its Nakaumi Lake Branch Office. In consideration of the fact, I strongly urge Tokyo to reexamine the case.
 Prefectural administrations will never charge municipalities the cost for prefectural construction projects such as the rebuilding of prefectural structures. Charging the cost for expressway constructions is inevitable, but the current burden charge system (imposed by the national government on local autonomies) should be totally abolished in the future. In particular, I think it’s necessary to insist that Tokyo reexamine the charge in relation to maintenance of roads and rivers, and the like. Now the National Governors' Association is finalizing the relevant measures and we will form a scrum in order to make demands to the national government.

Q. With regard to the budget allocation by MLIT, will you be specific about the areas which you feel are “not as sufficient” as you expected?

 I appreciate the fact that MLIT allocated the budget to the projects we made requests for based on their evaluation. However, the whole amount of the budget allocation is slightly smaller in scale than we expected. So we need to voice our local concerns when the national government compiles large-scale supplementary budgets.

Q. In response to the missile launch by North Korea, Tottori Prefecture has conducted a couple of drills. Will you tell us about any problems you encountered with regard to the drills?

 In the previous drills, two municipalities failed to meet the target time length of 10 minutes (within which to convey the relevant information to the local residents). Today another drill is planned, so I hope they will reach the goal. I think that the challenges are being overcome bit by bit each time we hold a drill. I hope we will summarize the efforts again today.

Q. You are finished with the first half of the term as the prefectural governor. How do you evaluate your prefectural administration for the past 2 years and what challenges are you determined to tackle at the beginning of a new fiscal year?

 For the past 2 years, I’ve been exerting myself in order to enhance the vitality and security of Tottori Prefecture in particular. After drawing up the future vision and conducting measures and projects based on the perception that the Great Exchange Era has arrived, I have a feeling that the required groundwork is almost completed now.
 I’m just halfway in my term and I have an impression that about half of my mission is also completed in most respects. Having said that, I have to focus on the works that are beginning to bud now.

Q. The Kinki Bloc Governors' Association will hold a meeting in Tottori. How are you going to reflect it in the future development? I would like to hear about your prospect and expectation for that.

 The governors of the Kinki Region will come all the way to Tottori, so I would like to regard this meeting as an opportunity to rethink a global strategy for the whole Kinki Region. I’m thinking of inviting a lecturer who is willing to make appeals from the standpoint of the Japan Sea Rim Era, in addition to exchanging ideas with each prefectural governor.

Q. Regarding DBS, will you be a little more specific about the reorganization of the support system?

 (In this press conference, Governor Hirai expressed his intention to reorganize the support system for the ship service across the Japan Sea to be operated by DBS Cruise Ferry.) There have been shuffles of personnel and slight structural changes (in the support system). So, while maintaining the two main pillars of trade and tourism, we need to speedily restart and reorganize the current system with an eye to collaboration with private sectors.

Copyright(C) 2006~ 鳥取県(Tottori Prefectural Government) All Rights Reserved. 法人番号 7000020310000