Full Launching of Ship Service by DBS Cruise Ferry

 Last week, the ship of DBS Cruise Ferry, which left (the port of) Tonghae City in South Korea on June 29, arrived at Sakai Port (in Tottori Prefecture) on June 30, and the ceremony to commemorate the launching of the ship service was held on July 1. After the ceremony, I traveled to Tonghae City aboard the ship. I felt the beginning of an interregional exchange that transcends national borders during the welcoming ceremony there.
 I would like to express my gratitude to the multitude of prefectural residents for their cooperation in getting the ship service launched, although the service is just beginning. Whether or not the ship service will bear fruit for Tottori Prefecture and the San’in Region depends on the future development, so I would like to ask for further continued cooperation.

Missile Launch by North Korea

 I’m outraged by the launch of 7 missiles conducted by North Korea. Tottori Prefecture’s administration has notified fishery operators of the missile launch and tried to collect the essential information. So far there have been no impacts on our prefecture by the missile launch except that the ship service of DBS Cruise Ferry was affected
 The missile shots are a reckless deed which violates the UN resolution. I strongly demand that North Korea respect international law.

Schedule, etc.

 In consideration of the current issues, including that of North Korea, we will make appeals to national lawmakers and ministries with an emphasis on several major items on July 8. Specifically, we will make appeals about issues such as welfare, health and medical care, public investment, economy measures, and employment.
 Furthermore, in relation to our demand as the Prefectural Governors’ Association concerning the manifestos of each political party, we will hold a committee meeting in order to discuss methods of evaluation for each party’s manifesto.
 Also, I will have a discussion with the mayors of the Japan Association of City Mayors. We all feel that the general election is just around the corner. It’s extremely important to seize this opportunity to incorporate the issue of decentralization into the agenda of each political party’s manifesto. We will work on the task together with relevant prefectural administrations.
 The National Governors' Association’s meeting will be held on July 14 and 15. Various issues are expected to be discussed, but the main topic will probably be the issue of decentralization.
 Regarding eco-friendly measures, Tottori Prefectural government was certified as the top office promoting eco-friendly commute by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on July 3. On Tanabata Day (July 7), the lights of our prefectural government’s building will be turned off as (part of) the “Light Down campaign.” The prefectural government will be used as a model for Light Down. If the weather permits, we are thinking of lighting candles. We are planning to turn off the lights all together at a sign from Ecotoripy (the mascot of Tottori Prefecture’s eco-friendly campaign).
 On July 9, the 14th National Wind Summit in Hokuei (as tentatively translated) will be held in Hokuei Town (in Tottori Prefecture). It’s a nationwide summit conference attended by relevant parties for wind-generated electricity. I’m planning to participate as well.
 Also related to ecological matters, as the “eco point” system has begun after enormous efforts, I instructed relevant divisions to make arrangements for our prefectural administration to utilize the system. As of now, although I hear that the number of applications for the eco point system service is quite small in Tottori Prefecture, Tottori Prefectural Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry (as tentatively translated) has started a full-fledged deliberation on the possibility of providing the “Best One Hundred Delicacies” (as the products to be exchanged for the eco points). In order to seek other various partners such as JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), we will hold briefing sessions for the eco point system and solicit businesses which will participate in the system. We seem to have got a late start, but the secondary offering for participation is scheduled for the near future and we will go forward with relevant promotions in order to prepare ourselves for the offering.
 Echizen jellyfish have been detected around Tsushima (in the Kyushu Region, southwestern Japan), and more and more of them have been found caught in fixed nets. The prefecture’s administrative staff and fishery operators need to take the countermeasures for this year. As one of the measures, an organization will need to be established. And we will need to collect and consolidate information regarding the movements of the jellyfish and the ways to get rid of them, and take measures in cooperation with the fishery operators to minimize the damages to the fishing industry. It’s a very troublesome issue. The number of jellyfish is increasing explosively in China and it’s getting more and more likely that the same kind of damages will occur repeatedly. So we will need to set up a response system within the prefectural administration.
 The board of education is holding briefing sessions for relevant parties regarding the establishment of high schools for students with special needs. And I’m willing to discuss the issue with the board as soon as possible. I believe that it’s necessary for us to try our best in order to create the educational environment in Tottori Prefecture in which the children with mild disabilities can easily acquire the skills which open up good opportunities for employment
 It’s up to users’ way of seeing this issue whether only one school of that kind should be established in the prefecture or the establishment of a school system with a kind of special support classes dispersed in eastern, central, and western parts of Tottori should be prioritized for the purpose of responding to these needs at the level of each region. It’s necessary for us to keep a close eye on the development of these issues.

Q. With regard to the Lower House election, you made some statements about your stance in the prefectural assembly’s regular session in June. What specifically did those statements mean?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that Governor Hirai’s statements in the session could be interpreted as saying that there is room for him to participate in political rallies held in Tottori No.1 constituency since he has the freedom of political conviction as a voter in the district, and that it would not constitute active support in the case of Tottori No.2 constituency since he is not a voter there,) I said (in the assembly’s session) that I will not join the movement to use its influence on the results of the elections by declaring support as an alliance of local government heads for specific political parties, as advocated by Governor Hashimoto of Osaka Prefecture.
 The main characters in elections are voters and the voters are going to choose the next ruling party or parties in the upcoming election. I don’t believe it’s appropriate to try to influence or distort this fact. Although I cannot support certain aspects of the movement proposed by Mr. Hashimoto, I agree with the attempts to pose the issue of decentralization as one item for the agenda (to be discussed) to the political parties which have potential to take the helm of state. So I’m thinking of initiating different approaches. To that end, I will attend a discussion meeting on how to evaluate the manifestos of each political party.
 In order to try and minimize misunderstandings, I made the statements in general terms regardless of the constituencies of Tottori No.1 or No.2.

Q. Concerning the alliance of local government heads proposed by Governor Hashimoto, have you been asked to take part in it?

 It’s to the credit of his movement that the issue of decentralization has drawn lots of attention. However, too much emphasis is put on declaring support as an alliance for (specific) political parties. It’s against my code of conduct to join a group of local government heads in order for them to demonstrate their clout jointly and intentionally and influence the election results.
 Since I share the frustration that decentralization is difficult to manage, I will evaluate the manifestos my own way. I think that I should provide my evaluation for the voters so that they can use it as the information for making decisions.

Q. As Tottori Prefecture will use its public money to subsidize DBS Cruise Ferry, the economic effects of their operation should be verified. How will you ask DBS to explain about their business conditions from now on?

 As a precondition for the subsidy, we will ask them to report on the situation of their ship service and the like. The information obtained through such procedures should be available for disclosure. Although there will be some information that cannot be disclosed, such as that concerning the foundation of their business or their corporate secrets, some of the other pieces of information can be made available to the public.

Q. The information (to be disclosed) will include monthly reports of DBS’s sales, for example, I expect. How will you provide the information for the residents in Tottori Prefecture?

 It’s not been finalized yet. We will deliberate it in full. Since it’s of high interest to the prefectural residents, we will go forward with the information disclosure to a certain degree while seeking understanding from DBS Cruise Ferry.

Q. Has the fishing industry already suffered damages caused by the jellyfish in Tottori Prefecture? And what specific countermeasures have been taken so far?

 Fishery vessels are operating in so wide a sphere that the damages could occur any time soon. If the jellyfish surge happens along the coastal areas, it’s possible that the coastal fishing operators will suffer quite extensive damages.
 It’s necessary to collect the information regarding the current condition and provide it for fishery operators now, such as the information about a new type of nets that can cut and dispose of the jellyfish, which I hear have been developed recently. We will listen to the concerns of working-level staff and deliberate various possible countermeasures. It’s not that the damages have already occurred.

Q. Governor Ido of Hyogo Prefecture was reelected in Hyogo’s gubernatorial election yesterday. I’d like to ask you once again to tell us about Tottori Prefecture’s stance and your own view regarding the extensive partnership with Hyogo Prefecture.

 I would like to congratulate Governor Ido on his reelection. He is very familiar with the current situation in Tottori Prefecture. We are feeling that a much-needed ally was reelected this time. I hope that our extensive partnership will continue smoothly in matters such as the pending issue of the Global Geopark registration (of the San’in Coast), the expansion of tourism zones, and the deliberation of the doctor helicopters.
 Especially in order to address the Geopark issue, I hope to exchange opinions with him at an early date.

Q. In the gubernatorial election of Shizuoka Prefecture, the candidate backed by the Democratic Party of Japan was elected as the governor. How do you perceive the election results?

 (After the reporter’s commenting that a series of backlashes against the Liberal Democratic Party may have affected the results, in consideration of the candidate’s origin and personal history, although the regional factors also played some part,) I think it indicates that the expectations for the Democratic Party of Japan are getting higher and higher. In any case, as various regional factors had impacts (on the election in Shizuoka), I hope that each political party will accept the results humbly and proceed with the compilation of their manifestos, which reflect the voices of the national public.

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