Tamanokanzashi (a Type of Plantain Lily)

 Yesterday, a farmer in Chizu Town brought the flowers known as Tamanokanzashi to us. These were introduced to Japan in the middle of the Edo Period (1603-1867).They are strongly scented and mark the coming of autumn.  I hope the improved access to Osaka will help develop such horticulture and suburban agriculture in Tottori Prefecture.

The Supplementary Budget to be Proposed in September

 In the prefectural assembly’s September session, we are planning to propose a supplementary budget amounting to about 4 billion yen. We will propose the budget for relief measures for the recent damages from the hailstorm, the intermediate and mountainous area development ordinance to encompass all of Tottori Prefecture, and a Tottori Sand Dune ordinance.

Schedule, etc.

 Tomorrow I will attend the 2nd Five Governors’ Conference of 2008 in order to discuss the future political issues. On September 13, we will hold a forum to discuss “Food Capital Tottori” and a festival in commemoration of Tottori Kenmin no Hi (Tottori Residents’ Day). Starting on September 12, BIRD Theatre Festival TOTTORI will be held in BIRD Theatre Company TOTTORI.

The Outcome of “Tottori Week” in Taichung County, Taiwan

 Last week we held a campaign entitled “Tottori Week” in Taichung County, Taiwan and I participated in related events together with Magistrate Huang of Taichung County. We enjoyed brisk sales in the exhibition of our local products. Apparently “Food Capital Tottori” enjoys a favorable reputation even overseas.

Privatization of Tottori Prefecture Information Center

 We are in the process of deliberation with relevant parties on the matter of privatization of affiliated prefectural organizations. In this connection, privatization of the Tottori Prefecture Information Center is going into its final adjustment stage.  Yesterday, I further urged the Center's chairman to make an exemplary case with privatization. We are in a hurry to make sure the views among relevant parties are in sync, and we will make sure that the executive board will confirm the policies of privatization as quickly as possible.

DBS Cruise Ferry

 The other day, Tottori Prefecture dispatched a delegation to contact DBS Cruise Ferry and negotiate various issues in South Korea. The delegation met DBS’s key staff members, including Mr. Chae, the president, and received a certified statement of ante which sets forth the amount of ante to be collected by the end of September. Specifically, the amount of 3 billion won is expected to be collected in total very soon. Combined with the ante collected so far, the total amount exceeds 5 billion won. The DBS side says they are continuing their efforts to further boost their capital bases.  On the other hand, we had received confirmation in Yonago City that outfitting of the port in Tonghae City will commence and our delegation could reconfirm the plan in South Korea. It looks increasingly likely that DBS will launch the trial ship service next February, followed by full-scale service next March, according to their schedule.  In order not to miss this opportunity, I gave orders to proceed with construction of the temporary international terminal in Sakai Port. I expect construction will commence in early October. Things seem increasingly to be moving forward at a reasonable pace.  On September 18, the Northeast Asian Local Government Summit will be held in Vladivostok, Russia. I hope to use this occasion to discuss the plans for DBS Cruise Ferry. I would also like to exchange ideas with Governor Kim Jinsun of Gangwon-do and Mayor Kim Hak-Gi of Tonghae City for what needs to be done at each region.

Q. When will the Tottori Prefecture Information Center be privatized, roughly?

 Before the next fiscal year, at the latest. We are all in agreement that the executive board meeting needs to be held as soon as possible in order to set the plan in motion.

Q. Would you give us the primary reason for the said privatization and how the consensus has been reached?

 There have been disputes in the prefectural assembly concerning the proper role of the center, calling attention to the various operations in which the center is involved, such as development or maintenance of software, which are nearly the same as those done by private sectors. The business outline of the center has come to closely resemble that of private companies.

Q. Have you gone to the areas afflicted with damage from the hailstorm?

 I have been unable to visit these areas personally, but the director of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery made an early visit in my stead. The results of his inspection should be reflected in the damage control measures to be drawn. We have reached a settlement conclusion in collaboration with Nichinan Town for damage control measures for this serious regional disaster.

Q. Regarding the academic achievement test, Governor Hashimoto of Osaka Prefecture is indicating a possible variation to the budget. Do you share his opinion?

 (After the reporter’s mentioning that Governor Hashimoto is indicating that he may make some distinctions in budget allocation between municipalities which voluntarily disclose the relevant information and those which do not,) My basic idea is similar to his. Yesterday, for the first time after a string of disagreements that ended up in the decision not to disclose the said information, I exchanged opinions with the members of the board of education and told them that we should share the information regarding the academic achievement test with local regions to some extent. The members all agreed that they do not intend to completely negate the disclosure decision.  In Tottori Prefecture, relatively firm communities are established, so I think this kind of approach is possible, unlike in the urban areas. I expressed my idea to them that it would be necessary to share with each region the information about the situation in each school or each municipality, as an initial step toward this goal. I had the impression that the members of the board essentially supported this idea. I would say that yesterday's discussion ended with the conclusion that we should try to thrash out a solution based on a common understanding and on equal footing.

Q. Are we right in understanding that you partially agree with the words of Governor Hashimoto of Osaka Prefecture?

 I see no problem with supporting regions which sincerely try to improve their capacity for education with measures to disclose information in an exemplary fashion.

Q. The Governor of Akita Prefecture reportedly said that he will disclose the information at his own discretion. Would you give us your take on this?

 I think it falls under the jurisdiction of the board of education. I think it’s necessary to try to solve the issue through negotiations with the board of education.

Q. Does supporting model municipalities mean that you will offer financial preference to some municipalities over others?

 (After the reporter’s questioning whether consideration for preferential treatment will be based on whether or not the municipalities disclose the information in the national academic achievement test,) I think it’s possible to deliberate support measures such as preferential staffing of teachers or distinction in budget allocation for composition of classes of 30 students, using disclosure or nondisclosure of the information as a benchmark. We want to keep various options in mind as we have discussions from now on into the new school year.

Q. The Liberal Democratic Party presidential election will be declared tomorrow. What are your expectations in light of the current circumstances?

 Prime Minister Fukuda’s announcement of resignation was so abrupt that numerous applications for candidacy were filed all too randomly, which has led to a battle royal. I expect this will be a good opportunity for the candidates to have substantial policy debates before the nation during the election.  I hope they will initiate steps toward the reduction of regional disparities and fostering of environments where everyone in rural and urban areas alike can live a rich life. There is also the social absurdity of a widening income gap, and it is my hope that political energy will shift toward consideration and sympathy for such issues.

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