About schedules, etc.

Last Sunday, I went to Tokyo to attend the meetings with the National Governors’ Association, Prime Minister Fukuda and Cabinet officials, and the five prefectural governors, In the respective meetings, I have made statements about the rectification of allocation of revenue sources, the corrective action of uneven distribution of tax revenue sources through the replacement of local enterprise tax on corporation and local corporate inhabitant tax with local consumption tax. Concerning the method of the corrective action of uneven distribution of tax revenue sources, I especially appealed to them that an adequate action must be taken not to reduce the local allocation tax.
In the meeting of the five prefectural governors, I pled for the local burden share issues such as the shortage of doctors and flood control project necessary for community safety projects.
After that, I visited Shanghai to have talks with the local authorities for the purpose of developing our private sector’s business, mainly, foodstuff which Tottori prefecture is proud of, into the large-scaled Shanghai market. In addition, I did business of “port sales,” a harbor promotion measure which aims to attract boats and ships into Sakaiminato Port from Shanghai.
On my way back home, I stopped over South Korea where I discussed how the Seoul-Yonago flight route is utilized with local travel agents, mass media, and Korean people who are associated with Tottori prefecture.
The prefectural assembly November session will start this Thursday. I am planning to propose to the assembly the revision of the ordinance to promote the sound upbringing of children, the partial revision of the ordinance relative to the prefectural employees’ salaries based on the advisory of the personnel committee and budget-related matters.
I decided to post ads on envelops the prefecture uses. Furthermore, I am thinking to solicit for the naming rights of “the Prefectural Fuse General Athletic Park” and “Kenmin Bunka Kaikan” (the Prefectural Culture Center). We will offer the naming rights, setting the dead line for early in the New Year, and then will select applicants, taking the price and other conditions into consideration.
As of today, I will issue a business improvement administrative order to the JA Tottori Seibu Division (hereinafter called “JA Seibu”). Last fiscal year, they caused scandals and I gave guidance to them, pointing out the need of improvements. In spite of my guidance, there were disgraced employees again in this fiscal year. Since I cannot overlook such misconduct, I required JA Seibu to submit the improvement plan within one month from now. They are responsible for executing business improvements based on the plan. This is the first case that Tottori prefecture has issued the business improvement administrative order in accordance with the Farmer’s Cooperative Law. I want other JAs (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) to conduct themselves with propriety in the ordinary course of business.

Q. How much income do you expect from the naming rights?

I estimate the profit between 10,000,000 yen and 15,000,000 yen gained from the naming rights. However, I get worried about the number of applicants. Any applicants are welcome as I am considering plus something extra.

Q. Regarding the Seoul-Yonago flight service, Yonago city assembly made efforts to create its own promotion with the budget of 1,400,000 yen. Do you think that the city assembly is taking a cautious stance on this?

I do not know the details. Probably, the Executive Committee that promotes the efficient use of regular Seoul-Yonago international flight services has its distribution. And the prefecture bears its own amount of shares from its budget and does each city. I therefore ask the Yonago city assembly to review the ratio of contributions to be negotiated in line with what the Executive Committee has decided.

Q. Relative to the above question, it won’t be a chance unless Yonago city hangs tough. Are you worried that the assembly takes such a cautions stance?

The Yonago city assembly submitted to me a petition calling for the continuation of Seoul-Yonago flight route. Since this service is still operational, I do not think that the assembly particularly sees the promotion of utilization as a problem. Meanwhile, the prefectural assembly has already approved the emergency support for running it after discussions. It is completely missing the point that the city assembly argues this. In the whole of East Asia, it’s significant that we promote the utilization of the Seoul-Yonago flight route. I request Yonago city, which is given to profit the most, to consider this issue from the broader perspective.

Q. Isn’t there any organizational problem behind this background that JA Tottori Seibu Division has consistently been disgraced?

JA Seibu must become aware of the responsibility for receiving the union members’ money for deposit. As we have judged that JA Seibu has bad management practices, we were obliged to issue a business improvement administrative order to the JA Seibu.

Q. In recent years, there have been consistently cases of embezzlement in other JAs. What is your comment on this?

I am very much concerned about such frequently occurring embezzlement. I really want the JA’s responsible persons to seriously take to heart the administrative order as a useful lesson. I have given guidance to JAs in Tottori through audit or other methods. Despite such administrative order, JA Seibu repeatedly caused scandals again. I must check the prefectural auditing system as well.

Q. To secure the financial resources in Tottori prefecture, the salary cut of 3% will expire in this fiscal year ended on March 31st 2008. What do you think of this?

The salary cut of 3% has been conducted in sets with a moderation in wage standard. Since the review of the seniority-based pay scale will be achieved by the end of this fiscal year, the salary cut will be case-closed.

Q. The review of the seniority-based pay scale was started in anticipation of getting good results from the salary cut rate. Can we expect good results from salary cuts?

The good results will come out gradually in the process of adding reviews. We will be able to see the effects two or three years down the road.

Q. The financial resource to maintain a thirty-student class has been secured by the Tottori prefectural version of the new deal in employment. At the end of this fiscal year, the financial resource will expire. Will you continue the thirty-student class?

I think that this thirty-student class should be continued. As was revealed by the previous achievement test, the educational program that the prefecture conducts has had a certain level of effect. I want to provide my answer in the compilation of the initial budgets.

Q. The review panel to discuss the human rights ordinance has reported to the governor their findings. Isn’t it an ordinary procedure that the governor first states ideas to the public and then hands the ideas to the assembly for review?

Since the proposal by the review panel at this time is related to the lawmaker-initiated legislation, I thought that I should have an opportunity to explain to the assembly first. I assume that I must listen to the opinions of lawmakers. In response to the proposal, I have instructed to the Human Rights Bureau to form a Human Rights Bureau-led review committee where we must handle such issues as children’s matters, education board, the disabled, multicultural coexistence and presence of foreigners in our community.

Q. One year has passed since Kyoko Matsumoto was recognized as Japan’s 17th abductee. What is your impression during one year?

I have become painfully aware when imagining how aging parents and family must feel anger about the cruelty of the abduction and where Matsumoto is now and how she is doing. I have been pressing the central government to pave the way for an early solution. I am considering that the prefecture together with Yonago city (Matsumoto’s hometown) will make preparations to receive her when the time comes. The other day, I was interviewed as part of a shortwave broadcasting program. Through the interview, I gave my message to the people who listen to the radio, praying for her safe life in North Korea. I strongly require the central government that this abduction issue be never used as a bargaining tool in the negotiation between the two countries. Especially, as this is a humanitarian concern, it is much more important than diplomatic relations.

Q. Did you adjust your schedule to visit Gangwon-do Province to estimate how and when the restart of exchanges will be done?

I am still in the process of scheduling the visit since the prefectural assembly session will start on November 22nd and I must consider the Gangwon-do’s schedule. After my visit to Shanghai, I stopped over in South Korea. Among the people who are associated with Tottori prefecture, there was a staff member from Gangwon-do province. I talked frankly with him and got information from him that the atmosphere in the Gangwon-do province is changing in a positive way. I want to settle the schedule with expectations.

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