Cabinet Reshuffle

 It was reported yesterday that the cabinet is to be reshuffled. I can only wait and see the result, but I strongly hope that the new cabinet lineup are highly capable in solving problems and will hold the trust of the public in managing the national government.

National Budgetary Request Guidelines in Fiscal 2009

 The other day, the outline of the national budget request was released. We need to take a resolute attitude toward it in order to tackle the issues involving the San-in Region (Tottori and Shimane Prefectures), such as improvement of the San-in Expressway and completion of the Tottori Expressway. We remain somewhat uneasy with regard to these budget requests.

Schedules, etc

 I will meet the governor of Shimane Prefecture in order to discuss cooperation between the prefectures of Shimane and Tottori. I would like to discuss at length the collaborative measures such as joint establishment of a tourism-and-interchange bloc or collaborative network of antenna shops that each of us owns separately, for example.  We will also choose young elite staff of both prefectures to hold a discussion program as a training camp, in which five young officials from each prefecture will get together and exchange opinions on how to promote the San-in Region and make San-in a better place. Governor Mizoguchi (of Shimane) and I will also join the camp, listen to their fresh opinions and learn a lot, I hope.  In this manner, we would like to promote our close cooperation on a personnel and policy-making level.

Misconduct in Tottori Seibu JA Cooperative

 A number of staff of Tottori Seibu JA (Japan Agricultural) Cooperative disgraced themselves with another offense (of embezzlement and improper accounting), in spite of the operational improvement order last November. It is indeed regrettable. The cooperative must be ordered to improve its operation once again.  The difference in this case is that the cooperative made an attempt to govern itself internally based on a modicum of whistle-blowing tactics. The operational improvement order is still in effect. We will enforce the content of the order, and demand them that they report their investigations into the cause of the misconduct and clarify how they will revise their improvement plan in response to the reoccurrence.

Torrential Rain

 Recently a series of torrential rains have been reported. There have been flood reports in Tottori as well. In Kobe City, swollen urban rivers claimed several lives.  Water parks are a product of riverbank reinforcement as an antithesis to previous river management methods. However, without assured safety, the trouble taken to improve the rivers will lose its meaning, as we can see by these recent disasters.  I ordered relevant divisions to seize this opportunity to investigate the conditions of water parks in Tottori Prefecture. According to conditions, we may need to take swift essential measures.

Slow Life Academy

 At this weekend, the Slow Life Academy Forum in Tottori (as tentatively translated) will be held. This is a good opportunity to project the image of a new, comfortable and human lifestyle from Tottori. I hope it will lead to a deeper recognition among the local residents that the slow life could be a new asset for Tottori Prefecture.

Q. The seat occupancy rate of Yonago-Seoul Flight Service is now in a bad way. May I have your comment on this?

 I think the recent decline in the occupancy rate is caused not only by the Takeshima issue but also by the beef issue and weak won reflected in political conditions in South Korea. There is an indication that South Koreans are shifting to domestic tours, and the impact of this change is not limited to Tottori Prefecture, but is nonetheless a cause for concern.  We will try to weather this situation by encouraging group tours abroad in Japan, or attracting Korean tourists to golf tournaments (in Japan’s side) for the coming fall. We will develop these measures flexibly within our existing scheme.

Q. If Asiana Airlines decides to suspend the flight service, how will the prefectural administration deal with it?

 We haven’t made an assumption that far and therefore we have no specific measures for it. Rather, we are trying to encourage the use of the flight service.

Q. Does this mean that you don’t feel a sense of crisis?

 I do feel a sense of crisis. The Asiana side said that they couldn’t help abandoning some service routes under current circumstances where the seat occupancy rate is dropping in flight services all across Japan. It’s not that the decline in the Yonago(-Seoul) service is prominent, which still gives us some hope. From now on, we will encourage Asiana Airlines to maintain the service and attempt to steadily improve the seat occupancy rate.

Q. Many exchange programs have been suspended due to Takeshima issue. How do you think this issue will affect the (Yonago-)Seoul flight service?

 I think that the impacts have been limited so far. However, I’m concerned about a potentially greater impact if the number of suspended programs increases. But more than that, I’m afraid that the spirit of interchange between Japan and South Korea may cool, which would discourage tourists from traveling between Japan and South Korea.

Q. With regard to disclosure of the national academic achievement test, a discussion meeting was held with the participation of PTA’s representatives. What are your thoughts on the opinions raised in the discussion?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that many of the participants called for a very cautious handling of the said disclosure,) It's under discussion by the prefectural board of education. It’s beyond my power, so I can only watch its development. I just asked the board to consult widely in deliberating the matter and consider the consistency with the prefectural information disclosure ordinance as an executive organ.

Q. Some people seem to have the opinion that too many seats of the prefectural board of education are occupied by those in education sectors. What are your thoughts on the lineup of the prefectural board of education?

 The board needs members who are knowledgeable about the field of education. However, members also have the obligation to monitor the board, so it may be preferable to avoid giving former teachers too much clout in the board.

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