June Supplementary Budget Plan

We’re in the midst of compiling the supplementary budget for the prefectural assembly’s June session, with an emphasis on several urgent matters, such as biofrontier projects including an allocation of 570 million yen for the outfitting of laboratory facilities at Tottori University, increasing the insufficient number of classrooms at Tottori Prefectural School for Yonago Handicapped Children, and renovating the promenade at Iwado Beach for inclusion of San’in Coast in the Global Geopark Network.  We also plan to propose in the assembly session the establishment of a legal conference for clerical cooperation between the prefecture and 3 municipalities in Hino County in western part of Tottori Prefecture currently under consideration.  While some adjustments are still underway, we do expect the final budget to exceed 2.3 billion yen, roughly speaking.

Tottori Visit by Russian Industrial League Representative

One development in the realm of the Japan Sea Rim Era was a visit to Tottori yesterday by Mr. Zakharov, a business leader representing the Far East Region for the Union of Entrepreneur Organizations of Russia (Russian Pillar). He has been a key figure in promoting and progressing trade between our two nations, so we are as glad as can be to have an ideal person visiting Tottori. One proposition from his side was the establishment of a Russian Pillar office in Sakaiminato City in Tottori Prefecture, and it’s been decided that adjustments will start to be made to that end. Russian side also requests that we should accept the Far East regional delegation of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, the equivalent to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It gives us great delight to see the enthusiasm of the Russian side as well. 

Participation in Northeast Asian Administrative Summit

A “Northeast Asian Administrative Summit for International Exchange and Regional Cooperation ” is scheduled for next week on May 25, in Korea’s Gangwon Province, where I will join the governors of Gangwon Province, China’s Jilin Province, Russia’s Primosrky Krai, and Monglia’s Tuv Aimag, all of which are in friendship agreement with us.  This is my last chance to meet with our ally Kim Jin-son before the end of his term as Gangwon Province governor, and he will be sorely missed. I hope that this meeting will provide a chance to secure the foundation for Japan Sea Rim economic exchange for now and hereafter. On behalf of Tottori Prefecture, I’d like to seek support for inclusion of San’in Coast in the Global Geopark Network and the opening of the International Manga Summit, share ideas on the setup of the Tourism and Trade Information Center in Tottori Prefecture, and obtain their relevant approvals. I will conclude a three-way partnership with Gangwon Province and Primorsky Krai, which I hope will boost tourism and trade activity.

Interview with Producers of Korean TV Drama

I would like to continue to push for Tottori as the location for the production of Korea’s drama “IRIS”. As a result of our continued approaches, we have secured an interview with Taewon Entertainment president Chung Taewon, an opportunity for which our municipalities and tourist industry have been showing much enthusiasm. I hope this meeting will lead to the selection of Tottori as the location site of the drama. We will go forward with development of exchanges along the Japan Sea Rim regions in cultural aspects and others.

Collaboration between Agricultural and Social Welfare Sectors

We are currently promoting collaborative efforts between agricultural and social welfare sectors as a new prefectural measure. There has been so favorable a response to the efforts of disabled people’s groups in such projects as the raising of lawn pot seedlings and picking of pear tree branches, and we are starting to feel that the tie-ups between the two sectors are promising. We will continue to explore new possibilities for development of social welfare.

Introducing Toyota-Style Reform “Kaizen”

As part of the prefectural office reform, we would like to introduce the “Kaizen (improvement)” method, employed by the Toyota Motor Company, in order to streamline operations, reduce inconveniences, and realize the efficient workplace.

Q. What’s your reaction to the national policy change postponing implementation of the new expressway fare system until June?

It was postponed with a view to constructions of the motorways, so I can appreciate Tokyo’s position to a certain degree. It’s a natural consequence that they want to wait for deliberation in the Diet considering the disruption coming up with regard to the actual road management. In the San’in Region, the San’in Expressway no-toll experiment will be implemented as planned. In terms of constructions of expressways, we are expecting concrete efforts to be made to some extent. I don’t think the delay will have any serious consequences. As of now, I would like to keep an eye on how the situation is likely to develop.

Q. Prefectures have been competing fiercely for the location of the Korean drama. How would you persuade them to choose Tottori over other places, and what legal exceptions would you make if chosen?

We are ready to provide them with both material and emotional supports. If we are lucky enough for that to happen, I’d expect to set up an urgent project team within the prefectural administration and put together an executive committee consisting of relevant parties in the tourism sector, and prepare ourselves for the production as soon as possible. That’s what I’m planning to convey to them. As for relaxing the legal restrictions that might interfere with the project, the prefecture will be proactive as an intermediary party in negotiating with appropriate agencies in response to requests from the production company. 

Q. Regarding the June budget plan, what are your specific ideas for the clerical cooperation with 3 municipalities in Hino County?

In the long run, we are planning to apply it to the roadwork projects, but as the first step, we are thinking of doing what we can in order to establish a joint framework to handle general affairs. 

Q. What ideas will you bring to the Prefectural Governors’ Conference at the end of this month, in light of the Futenma Base issue?

(After the reporter’s mentioning that the governors’ conference will be convoked in order to discuss and reduce the burden on Okinawa Prefecture,) Okinawa bears a much greater burden in this issue than we do on the mainland. So the national government’s determination to deal with the issue is understandable. However, I simply don’t think any prefecture could possibly make judgment on whether to house the base or offer cooperation without specific support measures or conditional improvements by Tokyo.

Q. Personnel at the Western Tottori Regional Office took on the voluntary facilitation of Tottori Gainare soccer matches as administrative duty. Was this actually inappropriate? And where does the problem lie?

I’d say it certainly was inappropriate, and I’d like to raise awareness in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.  There are already an overwhelming number of individuals in the prefectural office who volunteer. In consideration of the fact that many of the prefectural supporters for Gainare also participate on a volunteer basis, prefectural staff should act as pure volunteers in such cases, just as any other civilians.

Q. What’s your take on the movements to create prefectural combined junior high and high schools, and private combined schools in the eastern part of the prefecture?

I think such an ambitious movement to establish this sort of school at the civilian level should be supported.   Ultimately it will be up to the communication between the private school sector and the Board of Education whether the combined schools should be instituted publicly.  

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