About schedules, etc.

First, I along with the Tottori prefectural residents want to congratulate Kotomitsuki on his promotion to the second-highest sumo rank of ozeki at age 31, the oldest sumo wrestler to become an ozeki. I send hearty cheers to Kotomitsuki who realized his long-awaited dreams of higher ranking. This morning, I called Sadogatake-Oyakata who was a master of sumo and a former yokozuna (grand champion), Kotozakura, from Kurayoshi city) to convey congratulations on the Kotomitsuki’s promotion to ozeki.
The Tottori government aid team will stay in Kashiwazaki city, Niigata Prefecture, hit by the serious earthquake, to help people there during the weekdays; it is the time that enough volunteers are not expected. I want to continuously give such aid or service as the need arises.
I am thinking to request to the central government that they should survey current status of the seabed fault and am now proceeding with the preparations. The best way to request the investigation will be together with the governors of Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures. I am calling for them to be engaged in the survey of the seabed fault.
Today, I will go to the Seibu (western) region to attend the international exchanges where children of the North East Asian countries such as Russia, Mongolia, South Korea and China with which Tottori prefecture has had contact, (including Japan), have their own meeting to discuss the environment enhancement activities.
Tottori prefecture’s advertising campaign is now taking place in Osaka that is called “Yokai Tottori Museum,” (Yokai is well known for Mizuki’s comics on Japanese monsters titled “Gegege no Kitaro”) featuring the region richly endowed with nature where Yokai might live. Taking this opportunity, I will make an appeal for Tottori prefecture’s tourism and our rich and seasonal foods in that place.
The other day, I had executive talks with the Tottori city mayor. Through the talks, we agreed to have a meeting of environmental arrangements, specifying the lack of parking around the Kyusho Park, the prefectural office building, the Tottori prefectural Kenmin Bunkakaikan and the JR Tottori Station.

Q. To which institution do you intend to request for the survey of seabed fault?

About the seabed fault off the coast of the Japan Sea, involving Shimane, Yamaguchi and Tottori prefectures, I will request the survey of the central government. As it has been seen in the fault off the coast of Kashiwazaki by the earthquake, it became clear that the survey of seabed fault has made little progress. A scholar in Tottori University says that there is academically a black box in this field. The central government will be necessary to step into the research so that they can show the guidelines for the people’s safety in the case of emergency situations. I am therefore calling for the governors of Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures to work together for the requirement.

Q. It is reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will fight an uphill battle for the Upper House election campaign all over the country. What do you think is the reason?

It may be because of voters’ mistrust of the current government. For example, voters address the government’s taint of dishonor such as pension problems and problems linking politics and money. It will be a sign from the people, like saying that the ruling parties must do more soul-searching.

Q. It is said that Wakasa Railway Co, Ltd. will face the managerial crisis in a couple of years. How will the prefectural administration get involved in this?

It is most important to have respect in the vulnerable road users such as elderly people and children. It would still be unwise to conclude the survival of Wakasa Railway Company only by managerial problem. The prefectural administration needs to review the modalities for public transportation facilities as a problem that concerns the entire prefecture. I have already given instructions to the department in charge since my taking office in April, 2007.

Q. Speaking of reality, the disparities of financial capability among regions are expanding. Don’t you think that the impact of the three-pronged fiscal decentralization should be verified more?

I have already conducted the verification together with figures. Before the closing of accounts, I cannot show the final and conclusive figures. According to our analysis, the fiscal revenue and expenditure went into the red. Since other municipalities in the prefecture had the same outcome, I must say that Tottori prefecture has gotten the short end of the stick because of its weak financial footing. I therefore conclude that the three-pronged fiscal decentralization has brought minus effects to Tottori prefecture.

Q. About the issue of Tottori University of Environmental Studies (publicly-run private management university).

Did you have any concrete plans to increase student enrollment at the discussion meeting among Tottori city administration, the University and yourself?

As long as I have listened to what the president and the board chairperson said, I regrettably couldn’t receive a positive response for the increase in student enrollment. In the discussion meeting I attended, various issues arose. A focal issue is to reconsider the curriculum design so that it can speak to the students nationwide. The president has said to me that he will propose some plans at the board of directors meeting scheduled in December. I have requested him further consideration of the curriculum design that allows the students who will knock on the gate to make more choices. In addition, since the entrance exam in next spring is the first priority, I have proposed to him to set up a regionally based working group that is proactively engaged in recruiting activities by the pertinent organizations such as the prefectural and city administrations, as well as the student recruiting section in the University. The working group will start at an early stage as the president and the city government agreed with my proposal.

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