About schedules, etc.

We have the delegation consisting of forty-six children from Daejeon (the fifth largest city in South Korea), and today they are exchanging with the students of Nawa Elementary School in Daisen town (western part of Tottori). This week end, the delegation consisting of seventeen staff members (some are with their families) from the Kangwon-do province, South Korea will visit Tottori prefecture. I would like to warmly accept them since it is the first opportunity after Kangwon-do province and Tottori prefecture have restarted exchanges. In addition, Nanbu town will dispatch a delegation consisting of fifty-five people to the Hallym University, Chunchon in Kangwon-do province with which Nanbu town (western part of Tottori) has expanded the wave of exchange through home stays. I wish the delegation success in its exchange mission. Thus, the exchanges with North East Asia are expanding in various ways. I want to make efforts so that Tottori prefecture can fulfill its diplomatic function as a gateway to North East Asia.
I will attend the snow festival which is held in Kangwon-Do from Jan. 20th to 22nd. On that occasion, I will have talks with President Park of the DBS Cruise Ferry (a subsidiary of Dae-A Express Shipping, Seoul) and Donghae Mayor Kim for the realization of a liner route of cargo-passenger ships, linking Sakaiminato to Vladivostok, Russia via Donghae, South Korea. In order to move from vision toward reality, the residents’ understanding is highly appreciated.

About the measures for soaring prices of heating oil.

Yesterday, Nanbu town assembly passed a resolution for the adoption of a subsidy device for heating oil costs. We have pursued an investigation to see what kind of help the municipalities are considering. As a result, I have found that they need to back up at least the families on relief. Basically, such families are protected by the special local allocation tax (6% of total local allocation tax and used as emergent financial needs) from the central government. For the municipalities that partially subsidize the heating oil costs for such families, the prefecture wants to support them in a non-straightforward way. I will draw up some concrete ideas that can be discussed at the initial budget compilation held in February. Furthermore, as for the public bathhouses whose businesses are already disadvantaged and suffer from soaring fuel costs, I will consider some kind of aid through discussions with municipalities.

Q. Relative to the above, what ratio should the prefecture bear?

The prefectural administration will go halves on the heating oil costs with the municipalities. Since the central government is supporting by its special local allocation tax, the municipalities will be capable of making a highly flexible support system.

Q.How will you treat with the fuel costs of the public bathhouses?

As same as the aid for fuel costs, the administration will go halves on the fuel costs of the public bathhouses with the municipalities as well.

Q. In Tottori prefecture, hometown tax payment is tax-deductible from January. What publicity will you give to the taxpayers who financially contribute to their hometown (Tottori prefecture)?

I would like to create a fund in time for the initial budget compilation in the February assembly session. This proposal is to clarify the use for the taxpayers living in cities who want to do something good for Tottori prefecture. I will disclose the information on the Tottori website to let them know if there is further development.

Q. How do you intend to use it?

I just have instructed the department concerned to review its use. It would be a fund that is future-oriented and allows contributing to the local community (including children and aged people). I appreciate any ideas and comments from the residents.

Q. Regarding the continuation/suspension of Seoul-Yonago flight service, what forecast do you have for the operation for April or later at this moment?

I have a certain expectation of the continuation of this service. I am going to dispatch the director of the planning department to the Asiana Tokyo office for talks with them. This is the matter of negotiation (it all depends on negotiation). I think that the situation is yes and no at this moment.

Q. The results of the survey on the restoration work of Ohashi River (Shimane prefecture) were released. How do you evaluate the results or how will you deal with it?

I think that we should set up a consultation body within Tottori prefecture to validate the evidence from a cross-cutting standpoint. We need to make sure that from what calculation the raising of water level was set less than 1 cm. I will ask the experts of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) in Tottori prefecture. It is necessary to validate the EIA whether this figure may or may not be accurate. I want to suggest again the need to conduct the EIA together with the bank protection work to the government’s authorities on their won responsibility.

Q. Regarding the prefectural human rights ordinance that is still suspending the enforcement. The study panel within the prefecture has already started toward a next step. Do you have any intention of abolishing this ordinance?

It is too soon to conclude this issue. The internal study panel has just started. I want to review more and wait for the time at least until I can see the direction. I have no intention of proposing the abolishment of this ordinance at the February assembly session.

Q. Could you tell us more details about the seaway of the North East Asia?

DBS Cruise Ferry is developing an idea to enter service of a liner route of cargo-passenger ships across the Sea of Japan. The probability of the operation is very high. Taking the opportunity to visit Kangwon-do province from Jan. 20th to 22nd, I would like to have talks with President Park of DBS Cruise Ferry and Donghae Mayor Kim for the probability. This international passenger service will be epoch-making for the coastal countries surrounding the Sea of Japan. If the service of Vladivostok-Donghae-Sakaiminato-Donghae-Vladivostok is brought to realization, this will fit into our dream – the coming of age of exchanges in the Sea of Japan rim.

Q. How much advantage will Tottori prefecture be given by this seaway?

It will make a great difference if Sakaiminato functions well as a gateway of North East Asia and if cargo is gathered from various areas in the western Japan region.

Q. What kind of problems will arise regarding the international ocean service?

The problems of CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) and storage sheds will come up. Sakaiminato Port Administration Management Union is responsible for handling these problems. It’s my desire to build a Cargo-Passenger Ship Terminal in the near future.

Q. When is it expected?

The authorities are taking action in anticipation of the actual service in late summer at the earliest.

Q. As of January 7th, the movement for “my chopsticks” has started. Governor, are you a supporter of using your own chopsticks or disposable chopsticks at lunch time?

I can’t bear to see disposable chopsticks that are supposed to be made of precious resources in the forests on the earth. In this sense, I eat lunch with my own chopsticks. I don’t mean to refuse to use disposable chopsticks due to the environmental reason. It is excessive to shut it out. At the restaurant in the prefectural office, disposable chopsticks, which are of local production for local consumption, are utilized. This is good for us. I wonder if Japanese people are giving a negative impact of environments that may cause global warming. Anyhow, I am a supporter of “my chopsticks” in stead of using disposable chopsticks.

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