Countermeasures against Sediment Disasters

 In Yamaguchi Prefecture, a welfare facility (for the elderly) was washed away by a mudslide and precious lives were lost. In light of the lessons learned from this disaster, Tottori Prefecture will implement urgent countermeasures against sediment disasters for welfare facilities and the like.
 While monitoring the results of the survey on such facilities we are conducting in conjunction with municipalities, we will identify the areas where measures against sediment disasters are urgently needed. In a previous survey, 11 places were found to need such measures. In the current survey, the number is likely to rise to 30 or more. We will rank the areas in terms of urgency and implement “hard” (impersonal) measures for these places according to priority. I ordered the relevant divisions to include the survey expenses in the supplementary budget to be presented in September.
 In addition to the hard measures, evacuation measures are also required as “soft” (personalized) measures. We have experienced various disasters and called for such needs. And I hope that each facility and each municipality will draw up a concrete evacuation plan on this occasion.

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

 Because of the current continuous rains, agricultural damages have become a concern. We will hold the First Administrative Council of Tottori Prefecture and Municipalities in Fiscal 2009 (as tentatively translated) and I’m planning to bring up the issue in the meeting. Tomorrow we will launch the Tottori Prefectural Conference on Countermeasures against Lack of Sunlight, Low Temperatures, and the Like (as tentatively translated) in order to summarize the actual situations on the ground in cooperation with the meteorological observatory and JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), share the meteorological information, and provide each agriculture worker with vigorous instruction on preventive measures (such as pest control).
 As an example, we will establish a conference on countermeasures against the rice blast in order to flexibly initiate related measures. In case expenditures are necessary, we will consider the possibility of utilizing the reserve fund. In the prefectural assembly’s September session, we will propose the budget for the expenses necessary for the implementation of the relevant measures.

Schedule, etc.

 During or immediately after the Bon holiday, working level staff of South Korea, Japan, and Russia sides will have a preparatory meeting pertaining to the support for DBS Cruise Ferry with a view to reaching an agreement on how to proceed with negotiation toward the full-fledged talk scheduled for September.
 In addition this time, Mr. Saprykin Vladimir Georgevich, the regional representative of the Russian Federation international cooperation fund from Primorsky Krai, will visit Tottori Prefecture. We will talk about the exchanges made possible through utilization of DBS Cruise Ferry.
 As another immediate item in my schedule, I will attend the administrative council with municipal mayors (mentioned above) today. The day after tomorrow, I will go to Tokyo and attend the open forum on decentralization reform, organized by the National Governors' Association. In the forum, I will listen to the views of each political party and evaluate their manifestos with my peers.
 The coming weekend is finally the festival season. I hope that the residents in Tottori Prefecture will spend fulfilling days together with their families and friends in each local community throughout the Bon holiday.

Q. Will you be more specific about the “hard” and “soft” countermeasures against sediment disasters?

 (After the reporter’s questioning whether the “hard” measures will include sand control dams, whether the evacuation plan as one of the “soft” measures for those who need assistance which Governor Hirai mentioned in this conference will be drawn up by each municipality or each welfare facility, and whether any municipality in Tottori Prefecture has actually drawn up such plan in case where municipalities are required to make the plan,) We need the design plan first, so we will conduct a survey to determine what measures will be appropriate. We will propose the expenses ahead of the schedule in the supplementary budget to be presented in September.
 We are requesting that local municipalities draw up the support plan for those who need assistance (in case of disaster and evacuation, such as the elderly) even now, but the implementation varies from municipality to municipality. As for the welfare facilities, they are not necessarily aware of the need. We will urgently deliberate the matter from now through the end of this fiscal year, strongly urge all local municipalities to lay out the countermeasure system, and also strongly request that each welfare facility act in accordance with the measures.

Q. In order to tackle the agricultural damages caused by lack of sunlight and so on, you said that you intend to consider the possibility of utilizing the reserve fund. What specifically do you have in mind?

 We are envisioning utilization of chemicals for preventive measures (such as pest control). Tomorrow we will exchange information and have discussions with the staff of the Meteorological Agency and relevant parties of agricultural and administrative sectors in order to come up with possible countermeasures.

Q. Supposing that the Democratic Party of Japan takes the helm of state, it’s possible that they will halt the implementation of some areas of budget. If that happens, how will Tottori Prefecture deal with it?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that Tottori Prefecture is now compiling the supplementary budget in order to proceed with the greenery regeneration project in the field of forestry, in expectation that it will be subsidized by the national government), Budget suspensions will cause confusion. The residents are making preparations on the assumption that the budget will be implemented, so the impact of such suspension would be large and our financial administration would also be affected to a large degree. I need to make this clear to the Democratic Party of Japan.
 The evaluation conference of manifestos will soon be held. In the conference, I hope to have a thorough discussion about how the DPJ intends to deal with the issue, along with its impact on financial administration and the possible consequences of the abolishment of the temporary tax rate, on which the DPJ seems to keep a generally vague stance.

Q. With regard to the support for DBS Cruise Ferry, will you give us Tottori Prefecture’s specific blueprint of what sort of support can be expected, if any?

 Tottori prefectural administration thinks it important that the three regions (Tottori Prefecture in Japan, Gangwon Province in South Korea, and Primorsky Krai in Russia) will cooperate and create a foothold for businesses to utilize DBS Cruise Ferry. It’s all about the groundwork.
 Rather than providing monetary support directly to the businesses themselves, each of the three regions will encourage the businesses in each region to use the ship service and join our initiatives. It’s also the case in tourism and trade which involves cargo carriage.
 So far none of us, the three regions, have yet to see the faces of possible business targets in each region clearly. It’s necessary for us to create opportunities to conduct efficient and effective business matchmaking aimed at such targets.

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