About schedules, etc.

Today, I will set up a “Next-Generation Reform Promotion Head Office” in the prefecture. First, preparation must be made to organize the promotion system in the prefectural administration to develop a “new-generation reform” responding to the demands of the residents. I hope this reform can play the role of engine for a new era in Tottori. At least for the present, I will be running the administration by making up a new internal system, while providing the opportunity to hear residents' voices. On April 29, the term of the current assembly members will expire. I want to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to them for supporting the Tottori prefectural assembly for four years. Next week, the new assembly will start. Under the fresh administrative setup, I harbor a dream of managing the new administration to meet the expectations of the residents together with the newly elected fresh members.

Q. Concerning the personnel matters, have you decided who will serve in the Department Director of Labor and Commerce?

The slate is still clean. When I took over from the previous governor, two posts were vacant, so I'd like to appoint appropriate people as soon as possible. It will take a little time to appoint the Department Director of Labor and Commerce because the organization reform and general personnel selections come first. Now I am considering posting a leader in each project team of the Next-Generation Reform Promotion Head Office. I asked Treasurer Aoki to take the initiative on the industrial and employment affairs for the time being. With respect to the labor and commerce related projects, I will work closely with the Next-Generation Reform Promotion Head Office. I feel that I will need to face the first assembly session in June with the present setup.

Q. How do you see the Reform and Self-government Promotion Headquarters which existed in the Katayama era?

My evaluation is that the Headquarters had a certain measure of success as a promoter in leading the major policy challenges in Mr. Katayama’s second term. On the other hand, I want the Next-Generation Reform Promotion Head Office to operate in a different manner. For example, I want to form a team of young people in various themes so that fresh ideas are conveyed to top officials. This will help enhance the ethics of the internal staff.

Q. What do you think about the election of the chairperson of the National Governors’ Association?

I think that the election of the chairperson is of major significance. Recently again, controversy over the tax revenue sources to local governments is heating up in the central government. Before starting the June regular assembly session in which the large-boned policy is to be drafted, the cut and thrust of debate will be scheduled between the central and local governments, I guess. To solve such problems as local tax revenue sources and decentralization, and further Doshu-sei regional system as well, the election of the chairperson has an important meaning for the governors. So I, as a member, will be sure to participate in this election.

Q. How do you think the uneven distribution of tax revenue sources should be solved?

The unified local elections are over, and people are sharply pumped up about this issue. The central government has not yet demonstrated a positive stance toward decentralization. Under these circumstances, I think that now is a good time to address the tax revenue sources from scratch. Importantly, the local prefectural governments have a great responsibility in providing stable administrative services in the Japanese administrative institutions. For example, for the local prefectural governments, the weight of the income taxation to the business corporations is generally high. This issue should be discussed more as to whether the central government is doing the right thing. Will the prefectural governments control the administrative services by themselves? That will be hard because it involves business fluctuation. For this reason, it will be necessary to ensure the local tax revenue sources befitting the lives of the residents.

Q. Regarding the Division of Local Autonomy, the Department of Planning. Will this Division be reorganized by the Department that is in charge of the next-generation reform?

I will raise this composition adjustment at the June assembly session. My awareness of the problem is that there is no existing division to play the role of leader for working in cooperation with NPOs, private sectors and private organizations or for encouraging the participation of the residents. Along with the next-generation reform promotion system at this time, it will be necessary to reorganize the self-reliance and reform related department/division. I will propose this issue at the assembly session.

Q. What is your stance between the assembly and the administration?

My basic stance for the prefectural administration should be neutral and fair. As I myself am a representative of the residents, I want to implement what is needed for the residents without favoritism to a particular party or faction.

Q. In the local unified elections, you have said that you contest elections with the ruling party at the core. What is your comment on this?

During the election campaign, I needed to form an election machine. I might have been realistic about the election as part of my job. I cannot ignore the involvement of the national politics. When putting the residents’ interest ahead of everything else, I was placed in an either-or situation. In this sense, I have stated that I want to contest elections with the ruling party at the core.

Q. Regarding the challenges of the Department of Labor and Commerce. Are any concrete ideas coming up in your mind?

I will be giving shape to the individual measures and policies. Meanwhile, the central government is trying to hammer out measures to support the hustling local governments. As financial backing and systemic support are included, we should aggressively use such supports. Thus, moving closely together with the central government is important.

Q. You might have been in New York when you drafted a manifesto. What impression did you have on visiting the official Tottori homepage? How about accessibility or the number of hits by the public?

The official Tottori homepage was an invaluable source of information when I was living overseas. I recommend the staff update it more often and study more retrieval functions. This should be revised on an as-needed basis. The website as a whole has improved greatly compared with eight years ago.

Q. Do you feel you are inheriting any inconveniences from the previous administration?

I see no problem. There might be some difficulties because every person has their own style. But, I will be able to overcome the difficulties if there are any.


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