About schedules, etc.

Last Friday, the regular prefectural assembly session ended. I am glad that the assembly members have approved the supplemental budgets that I proposed for the groundwork for my four years in office. I now have a lead on my new job including the organization changes in the next-generation reform and industrial promotion. So I have stepped into my challenges of carving out a path to a new era with the residents. Yesterday, I went to Tokyo to meet with Farm Minister Norihiko Akagi. Regarding a positive list system for pesticide residue, I appealed him to make freshwater clam fishing available in Togo Pond by setting a standard value. During discussions, I got information that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has decided the standard value of Cumyluron (water quality standards and physical properties affecting water contamination potential) to be 0.4 ppm (parts per million) at its deliberative assembly which handles food and pharmaceutical affair. I have given the people concerned great anxiety, but I can finally see a good direction. By the way, I am glad to hear that the Local Government System Research Council, which was inaugurated yesterday, has chosen Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama, now a professor of Keio University, as vice chairman. I expect him to make various suggestions on the issues of local government systems including viewpoint from Sanin region as well as Tottori prefecture.

Q. The Local Government System Research Council will focus on the treatment of small scaled local municipalities whose populations are les than 10,000. What impression do you have?

I have the impression that the scale being set to 10,000 people meeting the local circumstances is questionable. Local governments have been debating this issue. Referring to Tottori prefecture, the conclusion was drawn through polling of residents and municipal election campaigns arguing its merger in the frame of democracy. As the municipality increases in size, it surely works the advantage of the scale and brings forth frequent contacts. On the other hand, a question will arise as to what degree is appropriate for democratically making a decision. In this sense, I do not feel a need for Tottori prefecture to reorganize the municipality of less than 10,000 people.

Q. What appeals do you intend to make at the meeting of the National Governors’ Association next week?

Last Saturday, I engaged in a frank exchange of opinions with the governors of Saga, Tokushima, Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures where we together agreed to increase our efforts on resolving regional disparities. The issues of tax revenue sources will be one of the focuses of the national governors’ association at this time. Since the association regards the hometown tax payment system as a symbol, we need to be outspoken about this introduction. I do not think that financially the hometown tax payment has a major impact. I want to raise the issue of the tax sources system and the corrective action of the uneven distribution of tax sources to the meeting from the standpoint of our prefecture.

Q. Concerning the hometown tax payment, how do you relate it to the inhabitant tax?

I feel that we shouldn’t avoid debates on the inhabitant tax and the income tax as well. Now the hometown tax payment is brought to attention. However, people are buzzing with the question that it will be technically difficult and theoretically and tax-wise impossible. By the introduction of the hometown tax payment, the inhabitant tax is actually to be transferred between the local governments and it will be just limited impact. It will be more important for the people who have hometowns to be allowed their right of choice by which they can contribute financial resources to their hometown. Creating a mechanism of hometown tax payment that works out as a system will be possible. As I agree with the system if it is institutionalized, I want to consider this issue together with like-minded governors.

Q. Regarding the Tottori prefectural human rights ordinance including its relief promotion and procedures. How do you see the discussion by the review panel from the outset? And what do you expect to be the conclusion?

To tell the truth, I haven’t seen the review panel’s discussions in detail. As it is known to everybody, the Katayama administration has enacted the prefectural human rights ordinance after the approval of the assembly and has suspended thereafter. The review panel, consisting of the independently organized people, discusses this issue. I am in a position to respect them. So I want the members of the review panel to work out whatever they think is best.

Q. Liberal Democratic Party will ask to legislate “no multiple-term elections” of leaders, such as governor, in the manifesto for the Upper House election. What is your opinion on this?

I think that the leader’s multiple-term elections are an extremely problem of democracy. As to whomever people elect as Diet member, it is the right of the electorate, and therefore nothing goes wrong if residents decide on someone who they think is the right person. In recent years, there were bid-rigging scandals. For example, in Miyazaki prefecture, the former governor resigned as he was arrested on a charge of bid-rigging scandals. It has nothing to do with the multiple-term elections. It seems to me that the problem establishment of such no multiple-term elections by LDP is out of focus.

Q. You have mentioned that you will have talks with the Tottori University of Environmental Studies immediately after the prefectural assembly session. What is your schedule?

I am in the middle of arranging the schedule. The talks will be in this month or will be delayed until next month. I apologize for our clerical error if any. As I’ve heard that Tottori University of Environmental Studies plans to hold a board meeting in the near future, I look forward to having my say including a management aspect at the meeting.

Q. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has replied to our query regarding the report in case of an accident. The Department Director of the Disaster Prevention pointed out that their emergency response was delayed and insufficient. What do you think about this?

I also feel that there was really not much that the JAEA could do. They should be aware of their failure to quickly report at this time. So I will request them to improve the emergency response more from now.

Q. For the coming Upper House election, how are you going to take an action as governor?

I will act as need arises but not frequently. I will of course put my official duty as the governor before anything else.

Q. What is your purpose in appointing a person from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as the Director of the Labor and Commerce Department?

By appointing the person from MIC as the director, I can expect ties with the national leaders. The new department director, Monzen has been in the position of negotiating local administration and local government finance with the government ministries. Meanwhile, the Tottori Expressway will be open to traffic, by which is linked to Himeji. His job experience in Himeji city office will be a great help to us.


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