Nuclear Test by North Korea

 Yesterday North Korea conducted a nuclear test, which is an outrage. As many as 485 A-bomb victims are residing in Tottori Prefecture, so we are extremely angry about it.
 At 5:30 in today’s morning, the Security Council of the United Nations held an emergency meeting with a view to adopting a resolution drafted by Japan, which I strongly support. I fervently hope that the international community will unite to oppose such vicious acts.
 Furthermore, it’s reported that three short-range missiles were launched (by North Korea). As fishery operations are continuing in the Sea of Japan, it’s a threat to the safety and security of the residents of Tottori Prefecture. I absolutely condemn it.
 The conflicts between North Korea and us are countless, including the abduction issue. So I must insist that Tokyo discuss the humanitarian issues as well in the future.
 The Tottori Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science is currently testing our radiation levels. We will provide the residents of Tottori with access to the test results periodically on our webpage, including the test figures and related information. The Tottori Prefectural administration will do our utmost for the safety and security of our residents.

Supplementary budget to be proposed in June

 As I started explaining to the prefectural assembly, we expect that the scale (of the supplementary budget to be presented in June) will reach about 30.3 billion yen. Roughly speaking, the budget will be allocated to categories such as the expenses for safe and secure livelihood, the economy and employment measures, the measures in view of the Great Exchange Era, and the Green New Deal policies. I’m thinking of seizing this opportunity to allocate some shares of the budget for investment into our children’s future, as related national programs are beginning to be established.
 We intend to allocate about 1.5 billion yen to proceed at a dash with the construction of earthquake safety systems. We also intend to spend about 8 million yen on installing future-type electric blackboards in prefectural schools. At first, we will focus on installing the electric blackboards in schools for the disabled. Then while monitoring the effects, we will consider expanding such installations.
 Other than these projects, we are planning to budget about 200 million yen for measures against the swine flu, and a little more than 10 billion yen for public investment. In addition, in order to provide security and improve quality of life for prefectural residents, we will propose various budgetary schemes, including provisions for attracting more foreign tourists to Tottori.
 Our current budget proposal is characterized by our efforts to avoid relying too much on general revenues and to make the most of the national budget (allocation) in order to minimize the financial burden on future generations. In spite of the budget’s large scale, the related financial burden is miniaturized. We are currently in the middle of the final adjustment and I hope we will have spirited discussions on this budget in the prefectural assembly’s June session.

Schedule, etc.

 The governors' association of the Chugoku Region is scheduled to hold a meeting tomorrow. The Kinki Bloc Governors' Association’s meeting is scheduled for June 2 and 3. On June 3, the governors of Osaka Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture will visit Sakaiminato City (with me).
 For each of the governors’ meetings, I’m suggesting through the administrative staff that each of the associations should initiate the countermeasures against the new-type swine flu, and the condemnation campaign against North Korea’s nuclear tests. Moreover, I will try to establish cooperation with other governors on issues such as decentralization, financial resources, and construction of the expressways. As for Tottori Prefecture, since we are in a crucial stage to realize our intention to become the gateway to the Northeast Asia, I will seek the relevant support from my peers.
 On June 2, the governors of Hyogo and Kyoto Prefectures and I will hold a meeting regarding the Geopark issue. I take this meeting as an opportunity to collect information about how the final preparation for the application (for the San’in Coast) to be registered as a Geopark is progressing, and publicize that the three prefectures (Tottori, Hyogo, and Kyoto) will join hands towards the goal of the said registration.
 Since shallots (one of Tottori’s local specialties) are in season, we will hold promotion campaigns (for shallots) in various locations in the Kanto Region (the region including Tokyo), such as lecture classes on how to make pickled shallots.
 As a result of our long-term adjustment, we almost managed to make an appointment with Mr. Nakagawa, the vice president of Sony Corporation. It’s been virtually decided that Epson Imaging Device Corporation (located in Tottori) will become a subsidiary of Sony and I hear that the two companies are making preparations for the execution of a formal agreement at the end of June. As the Tottori Prefecture’s administration, we want to seek understanding from Sony’ side about the value of the facilities Epson Imaging Device has and its human resources. In hopes of gaining support for Epson’s continued operation and development as well as job security, I will give a courtesy visit to him.

Q. One month has passed since the establishment of the Urgent Project Team for DBS. How are the members dealing with their initial mission, such as collecting orders for cargo transport or attracting passengers?

 Although the date of the service launching (of DBS’s ship service) has not been finalized yet, they started preparation for briefing sessions in mid-June in various locations of western Japan. The project team is edging forward in order to collect cargo transport orders and attract passengers.
 With regard to the supplementary budget to be proposed in June, we made some operational changes in order to subsidize the cargos other than containers. We are also planning to export agricultural, forest, and marine products and fresh foods to Russia on a trial basis. For example, we are preparing for a pilot export of watermelons and pears. I hear that the ceremony to commemorate the full launch of the ship service will be held around July 20. So export cargos of watermelons could be loaded (in the ship) if the related preparation is completed in time. We have begun the preparation at a rapid pace.

Q. The number of tourists using the Yonago-Seoul flight services from South Korea’s side has decreased. Do you think this is related to the swine flue?

 The people of South Korea and Taiwan are thinking that Japan is contaminated (with the swine flu virus). I cannot deny that it’s reducing the number of tourists (to Japan). However, there have emerged some indications that a steady number of tourists are coming from South Korea to the Yonago Airport. We need to analyze such points and provide for necessary adjustments in order to reverse the situation.

Q. Although the launching date of DBS’s ship service has not been decided yet, what kind of appeal are you going to make in the meeting of the Kinki Bloc Governors’ Association?

 Fukui, Kyoto and Hyogo Prefectures, which are members of the Kinki Bloc Governors’ Association, are potential core regions for the Japan Sea Rim Era. Without limiting to the issues of Tottori Prefecture, we will probably discuss the gateway functions to the Northeast Asia and the related perception of the times.
 In the discussion, I will give explanations on the new ship service by DBS Cruise Ferry. Although it’s not clear whether the launching date will be set before the discussion, the launching project is so concrete that the formal opening ceremony is scheduled for the second half of July. So I will be able to provide clear explanations in the near future.

Q. Other than the matters regarding Northeast Asia, do you have any specific points to propose as the governor of Tottori?

 In addition to the issues concerning North Korea, which I mentioned in this conference, the environmental issues are under adjustment right now. The succeeding framework to the Kyoto Protocol is under discussion now and the related conference on the global environment is scheduled for the end of this year in Europe. So I’m suggesting now that we seize this opportunity as the whole Kinki Bloc to join hands and issue something like “the Tottori Declaration.”

Q. Have you decided on the date to visit vice president Nakagawa of Sony Corporation?

 We have fixed it for May 29. This time, I will bring vice president Nakagawa and other executives a letter addressed to president Stringer. It’s certain that the circumstances surrounding the liquid crystal display are tough. Sony is going forward with a large-scale restructuring across the board. But we believe in the value of Epson, which we will convey (to Sony’s side).

Q. Regarding the swine flu, how are you perceiving the situation at present and what kind of alert system are you planning to implement at this time for the autumn and winter?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that Tottori Prefecture is relaxing the relevant countermeasures in line with the national government’s policies,) In consideration of the economy and impacts on children’s education, it’s natural to reorganize the measures on the assumption that the toxic potential (of the swine flu) is equivalent to that of the ordinary flu.
 As autumn and winter approach, there is a possibility that the ordinary flu will be going around and the outbreak of the swine flu might also occur again. Tokyo should establish their policies as the national government with regard to what kind of actions they should take at this stage.
 The current (procedure) manual (for the flu epidemic) is designed for the highly toxic flu, so the confusion will probably continue for a while. But during this confusion, we should begin drafting a manual for prevention of the less toxic flu. In cooperation with professors of Tottori University, we will proceed with the dualization of the manual.

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