Welcoming a New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I’d like to extend my best wishes for your health and happiness in the New Year. I have welcomed the New Year for the fist time as Tottori Governor. My responsibility has a sobering effect on me. Today, I have made a speech in front of the prefectural employees in which I quoted a poem in “A Collection of a Myriad Leaves” (Manyoshu, AD 750) by Otomo no Yakamochi, and I gave them my will, stating that “Let’s work hard all together and across the organization for the residents.” The environment surrounding the Tottori prefectural administration as well as Tottori area will still be severe, but even so, we must fight against the headwind. I would like to aim at making up a regional society with security, wisdom and energy in cooperation with the residents.

About schedules, etc.

As of today, I set up a consultation service for free blood tests for the patients who may test positive for Hepatitis C from tainted blood products. I also set up a one-stop consultation service for the high-price of crude oil. In addition, I am considering setting special reserves in the budget as an emergency loan for the small-to-mid-sized businesses to take care of this high-price of crude oil. The central government has deregulated the ceiling on loans though; I want to set such special reserves in the budget to the entities other than the above businesses on the prefectural side. Furthermore, I will set a stable source of funding for farm businesses including orchards. Also in the measures for the high-price of crude oil, the farmers who have can-do spirit will be subject to receive the benefit as it is good to help them to conserve energy.
In fiscal year 2008, I will plan to make a vision looking toward the next 10 years, and aspiringly tackle the budget compilation. For example, my visions are: establishments of the station in the metropolitan areas from which information can be sent out and an uncollateralized loan system; promotions of rice, pears and Wagyu cattle; and drawing up a budget which enables the residents’ movement for approaching from an environmental point of view. I am discussing education issues with the prefectural board of education ahead of the education regeneration scheme that the national government has started. I envision our own model of an education environment where children become friendlier with English study in the elementary school. Thus, I will throw myself into budget making for the realization of a vibrant community.

Q. Governor, do you think it is good that children learn English from the elementary school?

The more globalization develops, the more the knowledge as an internationally-minded person will be necessary. In my opinion, it will be a positive option to give children an environment that opens a bright future through English learning from the elementary school.

Q. The prefectural government has a variety of subjects to be addressed. What is the theme you want to approach in this year?

I would like to aim for a prefectural administration that provides security and vitalization to our community. The key words are “Self-reliance and Closer ties with municipalities.” What I am concerned with the most is the way to boost the weak economy. We need to check the implement measures again. This afternoon, I will call the strategy committee to discuss the attraction of companies. The committee will give us some ideas which are useful for the recheck.

Q. The Shidosaka Pass running along the tracks of Chizu Express will be opened in March, so will other parts of the Himeji-Tottori Expressway be opened in series. What is your perspective of using the Expressway?

It is the beginning of the new era of large-scaled transportation facility for Tottori prefecture. With the completion of the Himeji-Tottori Expressway, it will be possible to appeal to more people that Tottori prefecture is a good place to start a company. I will put emphasis on cooperation with the Kinki and Sanyo regions.

Q. About the attraction of companies. Don’t you think that it is necessary to establish a liaison office outside the prefecture?

First, I will research as to whether a liaison office outside the prefecture is necessary. I would like to cast my thoughts into shape before starting the budget compilation in February. We have our liaison office in Osaka. It would be possible for the office to be treated as the headquarters that take control of Kansai region.

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