Countermeasures Against New-type Swine Flu

 Although it’s summer, the new-type flu is making rounds nationwide and Health Minister Masuzoe has declared a state of pandemic. In Tottori Prefecture, outbreaks of the group infection have occurred consecutively in recent days with the second semester of school just around the corner. Although no case of severe infection has been reported in Tottori Prefecture, it will be necessary to take precautions. Tomorrow we will hold an emergency meeting of the task force against the new-type flu to discuss the issue.
 One item on the agenda will be countermeasures against the increase in severity of the flu. We are planning to reinforce the hotline tie between home doctors and the nucleus hospitals in the eastern, central, and western regions of Tottori Prefecture, and reestablish a system where patients facing life-threatening illness will be hospitalized immediately and receive appropriate treatment.
 Secondly, children might be in critical condition if they come down with influenza-associated encephalopathy in some cases. This type of increase in severity is possible even without any underlying disease, which needs to be addressed. I would like the prefectural residents and parents to know that, if a child utters strange words or speaks incoherently, the child might be suffering from the influenza-associated encephalopathy. In such case, the child is advised to see a pediatrician immediately. And if there’s a possibility that the disease may increase in severity, he or she must be transferred to one of the nucleus hospitals in the eastern, central, or western region of Tottori Prefecture. A network for the purpose needs to be organized.
 In addition, we will implement measures against an explosive pandemic of the new-type flu in school before the new semester begins. We are finalizing the details in conjunction with the prefectural board of education and we will promptly notify schools of these measures through the municipal boards of education.
 The analysis of the cases of the flu in the prefecture shows that many of them are connected to school or group activities. If a child has a high fever or a cough, the child must be removed from school and extracurricular activities at any cost regardless of the child’s personal wishes. That’s the first step to prevent the infection from spreading. We need to give this kind of warning to parents through schools. In addition, it’s necessary to encourage prefectural residents to gargle, wear masks, and cover their mouths when coughing, which are all basic things that we have observed so far.
 Thirdly, we need to implement countermeasures against the increase in virulence of the flu virus. The type of flu that is now spreading is less virulent and there is absolutely no need to be excessively worried, but we cannot deny the possibility of its mutation. That’s why we will include the relevant measures in the supplementary budget to be presented in September. In particular, we are planning to equip our partner hospitals for measures against the new-type flu in the prefecture with negative pressure rooms. We are also planning to deploy oxygen masks for patients with respiratory problems.

Measures against Agricultural Damages Caused by Lack of Sunlight, etc.

 According to talks with working level staff about the measures against low temperature and lack of sunlight, no wide-range spread of rice blast, which we were concerned about, has been detected. However, some cases of this disease of rice have been reported in intermediate and mountainous areas. In consideration thereof, I feel the need to conduct certain urgent measures against the lack of sunlight and low temperature, and we will use the reserve fund for this purpose.
 Specifically, we will provide additional preventive measures for the rice crop and against the rice blast. Soft rot symptoms are also beginning to be detected in white spring onions, so we will conduct additional preventive measures against the outbreak of this disease. Regarding Japanese pears, it’s already the harvest season and disease prevention will be needed toward the next fiscal year and thereafter.
 We cannot afford to wait until the supplementary budget is approved in September in order to implement these measures, so we will use the reserved fund to deal with this issue. We will tackle this challenge in cooperation with municipalities, JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), and other agricultural groups.

Schedule, etc.

 The day before yesterday, the working level staff of the Gangwon Province of South Korea, Vladivostok of Russia, and Tottori Prefecture of Japan held a discussion in South Korea about how the three regions will support the ship service across the Sea of Japan in future. As a result, it was decided that the governors of the three regions will convene in Gangwon Province, possibly in early September, with a view to establishing a new organization.
 With regard to the new ship service, Mr. Jeong Young-Tae, the president of DBS Cruise Ferry will come to Japan tomorrow and visit Tottori Prefecture. I expect that his visit will provide an opportunity to exchange various ideas. Moreover, Mr. Tagir Khuziyatov, the professor of the Far Eastern National University of Russia and regional correspondent (in Vladivostok) of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) will visit Tottori Prefecture in the near future.
 The Japanese pears will soon go on sale. Since the pears are one of Tottori Prefecture’s specialties, we will definitely do our utmost to promote and boost the sales. A relevant ceremony is scheduled for August 25 in Osaka, and Tottori Prefecture’s vice governor will attend it. In this season, we are holding a final negotiation with JA in order to export the pears to Russia. Specifically speaking, we are aiming to start selling the pears there on September 5. Since I’m scheduled to go to Russia for the “Tottori Week” campaign, I’m going to help with the sales. I also hear that JA Group is planning to promote the pears in Thailand as a new initiative. I hope and expect that this season will mark the start of our challenges to promote Tottori Prefecture’s specialties throughout the world.
 Now the 2nd IZAKAYA EXPO/1st OPENING RESTAURANT BUSINESS EXPO is held in Pacifico Yokohama and Tottori Prefecture has participated in the exhibition for the first time. 11 businesses based in Tottori have set up their booths there and have been involved in the business negotiation fair and promotion activities. They are enjoying a great success and good results are expected.
 In this weekend, “The 1st Tottori Power Creation Forum in Chizu (as tentatively translated)” will be held in Chizu Town (in Tottori Prefecture). We are hoping to start mobilizing the powers of private sectors and residents in Tottori in order to foster Tottori’s power.

Q. Regarding the Lower House Election, you attended the kick-off rally for Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and gave a greeting speech. What was your intention behind it?

 I will refrain from speaking about this in too much detail, as doing so would constitute a political activity. As the representative of Tottori Prefecture, I have made requests to him regarding the national administration. So I attended the rally based on my personal moral obligation.

Q. Do you plan to attend this kind of rally in the future?

 I have no such plan so far. As I have said again and again, I will not take any action which is likely to cause misunderstanding.

Q. In relation to the academic achievement test and the information disclosure ordinance, the prefectural board of education reported its intention to specifically exemplify possible cases of violation. What’s your stance on this issue?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that the board expressed the said intention in the prefectural assembly last fall, and questioning if Governor Hirai also has any intention to exemplify cases which constitute violations of the said ordinance as the prefectural governor,) Since the revision of the ordinance this time concerns the information on the side of the board of education, I think that I should respect the view of the board. The board of education has submitted a request to the gubernatorial divisions, although I haven’t read it thoroughly in detail. In principle, we will settle this issue in accordance with the opinions of the board of education.

Q. Regarding the new-type flu, Tottori Prefecture has so far moved toward relaxing the countermeasures gradually. Do you intend to reinforce them again?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that deaths caused by the flu have been reported nationwide now,) If a misconception has spread that the virus is less virulent and there is no need to take any caution, it needs to be corrected.
 I have ordered the relevant divisions to have a discussion as the task force tomorrow, but if you check the cases of the group infections which have occurred within Tottori Prefecture, you will see that an unexpectedly large number of children have become infected in sports club activities and so on.
 In particular, if school begins and children are sent to school without any precaution, it’s possible that the flu will spread. So it’s necessary for us to seek cooperation from parents and make sure again that the children’s body temperatures will be checked and the children with symptoms such as a cough will be absent from school.
 Unfortunately, there is no vaccine developed for the new-type flu. Since it’s impossible to forestall the outbreak, we will make a bit more proactive requests than the countermeasures against the ordinary flu.

Copyright(C) 2006~ 鳥取県(Tottori Prefectural Government) All Rights Reserved. 法人番号 7000020310000