About pesticide found in “gyoza” package

Yesterday, all of the sudden, the pesticide methamidophos was detected inside the package of frozen gyoza imported from China. I feel indignant as to why this happened. It is most regrettable that the poisoned patients were found nationwide. After the discovery, Tottori prefectural administration started vigorously investigating the contamination of Chinese frozen gyoza dumplings with banned pesticides within the prefecture. We will put information concerning items subject to the problem into our official website as soon as it becomes available. And we have organized a health damage consultation service that Bureau of the Environment and Consumers Affairs in the Tobu, Chubu and Seibu regional offices, Bureaus of Health and Welfare of Hino regional office and Division of Food and Community Safety will take charge of the contaminated frozen gyoza dumplings. I would like to ask the residents’ cooperation not to occur such health damage.

About naming rights

I am glad to inform you that we entered into agreements with two nominees. As for the naming rights of Kenmin Bunka Kaikan (prefectural culture hall), TOTTORI BANK has bought the naming rights for 15 million yen, and will advertise its name as “Torigin Bunka Kaikan.” As for that of Fuse General Playgrounds Park, Coca-Cola West Holdings has bought the naming rights for 10 million yen, and will advertise its name as “Coca-Cola West Sports Park.” I will hold the signing ceremonies to conclude agreements separately with them. The naming rights will be effective in April.

Regarding my participation in “Sentaku” (both choice and wash in Japanese).

A group of governors, academics and business leaders kicked off their nonpartisan “Sentaku” movement with a call for lawmakers to clarify their policy stances. Kyoto Governor Yamada is the founder. Under the current situation, nothing comes easy in that the circumstances of local governments are reflected in the national politics. I think that a movement to steer the nation is necessary from the viewpoint of the protection of livers and narrowing gaps among regions. I especially have the feeling that the central government should carry out national politics while keeping a close eye on decentralization. Yesterday, I discussed this over the phone with Kyoto governor Yamada and have agreed to be allies in our concern for the realization of policies. According to his explanation, this group is of a nonpartisan and aims for the community- and job site-oriented policy reform. So I have a mind to join in the “Sentaku” as a tool if local politicians can make a united effort to realize policies in the chaotic political climate.

Q. On January 24th, the chief of the headquarters of Asiana Airlines was here. Which direction do you think will the negotiation be heading at this moment?

The chief expressed his frank opinions from the Asiana side that they are concerned about the decrease in seat occupancy in last December. I immediately instructed the vice governor to hold a meeting to discuss improvement in the seat occupancy within the prefectural administration. Whether Asiana Airlines continues the Seoul-Yonago route service in April or later will depend on the performance from January to March. We have favorable factors such as a business tie-up between Korea Golf Course Operator, Emerson Pacific and Green Park Daisen G.C. I have strongly told the chief of my intention that the emergency aid as is now should be changed for fiscal 2008. I have also asked him for the consideration of Asiana’s side in our local conditions. I will negotiate with Asiana to the very limit in two ways: one is to show our direction to raise the seat occupancy; and the other is to seek a possibility of changing the way of the running assistance. I have conveyed to the Asiana side my willingness: settlement of this issue before the assembly session starts (Feb. 20th); continuation of this flight service; and importance of the development of a favorable environment that is supported by the people in wide user circle. In addition, I have offered them measures to switch to the direct support of passengers from the support of Asiana. At this moment, we are still in the final negotiation stage.

Q. Regarding your participation in “Sentaku,” what difference is there from the five governors’ association? And what is your motivation to participate in “Sentaku”?

Five governors consist of Miyagi’s Governor Murai, Yamagata’s Governor Saito, Tokushima’s Governor Iizumi, Saga’s Governor Furukawa and myself. They are like-minded governors in their 40s. The five governors’ association launched a policy study group for the purpose of solving the disparities among regions. All the members agree to continue this policy study meeting intermittently, including themes of lifer and education as well as the disparities among regions. On the other hand, a group of “Sentaku” consisting of governors, academics and business leaders is of a totally different nature. If this group exists as a nonpartisan group that purely makes policy recommendations, I should participate in the movement that may steer the nation so that I can reflect the people’s voices through this channel.

Q. New Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto, the 38-year-old lawyer, has emerged. What relationship will you build with him? Do you want to induce him into the five governors’ association?

I would like to send hearty cheers to new Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto. I expect him to take a full swing since he won the Osaka gubernatorial election by landslide votes. The news came just when I was thinking to strengthen Tottori’s alliance with Osaka. The Kinki bloc Governors’ Association is taking care of paperwork to induce Hashimoto into the Kinki bloc Governors’ Association. I am planning to visit and talk with him after the turn of fiscal year. Hashimoto says that if Osaka is not vital, then the West Japan won’t be vital either. I agree with him. I look forward to his bringing a lot of excitement to Osaka. The five governors’ association is a rural-oriented organization. If this association invites the governor of Osaka as a member, I am uncertain that the problem consciousness of both sides would fit. So I want to develop good-neighborly relations with Osaka. Governor Hashimoto has stated his policy of avoiding debts. His words are unexpressive to me as there are a variety of debts.

Q. Your first initial budget compilation is coming soon. Could you tell us how you will approach it?

I think I can show you a budget that will open the door to new reforms in Tottori. Although Tottori prefecture is in a very difficult situation financially, I would like to make every single effort to finalize the budget to measure up to the residents’ expectations.

Q. What is your idea of issuing a local bond to fill the decrease of revenues? If so, how much do you estimate the decrease to be?

The local bond to fill the decrease of revenues is issued in this fiscal year ending in March. I estimate 1.3 billion yen for the local rate. I am now working on how I can deal with the financial closing for fiscal 2007. I want to consider taking a little more time; however, I think that issuing a local bond would be unavoidable.

Q. To what extent will the prefecture recruit the naming rights?

I do not think that we will recruit it without limitation. In the case of Tottori prefecture, there are limits to the facilities suited to the offering of naming rights. As we have so far succeeded in selling the naming rights for two facilities, I want to study other possible facilities a little more, such as the Yonago Convention Center, for example.

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