Visit to Miyagi Prefecture
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Miyagi Prefecture.
First, Prime Minister Abe participated in the Minamisanriku Town Industrial Fair in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, before attending the opening ceremony for the Tome-Shizugawa section of the Sanriku Coast Road.
Afterwards, the Prime Minister visited a company involved with the reconstruction of tourism and a non-profit organization (NPO) that provides a workplace where mothers can bring their children, both in Kesennuma City.
After his visit, the Prime Minister said,
“This time marks my 30th visit to the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. I have visited Minamisanriku and Kesennuma several times, including when the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was an opposition party. I have made several visits to the reconstruction market in Minamisanriku that started right after the disaster struck. I have also visited Minamisanriku Sun Sun Shopping Village. From next March, at long last, they will move from temporary facilities into their permanent facilities, signaling a new start for the shopping village. I am overjoyed to see how reconstruction is making forward progress.
I helped to pass out mochi rice cakes earlier. It was invigorating to see how happy the children were and the animated smiling faces of the elderly. Today, we opened the Sanriku Coast Road. By all means, I hope that people from across the country will visit Minamisanriku. I have had the pleasure of enjoying some delicious salmon soup and squid here. I hope that everyone will come and enjoy this area’s delicious food and beautiful scenery.
By 2020, 90% of this road, from Sendai to Hachinohe, will finally be open, and it will be possible to reach Kesennuma from Tokyo via expressway. In Kesennuma, I ate swordfish. I hope that more and more people will visit to enjoy many attractions including this kind of delicious food. With this road’s opening as a catalyst, we will increase the number of foreign tourists to this area to three times the current level by 2020. The Government will thoroughly support this plan.
In Kesennuma, a variety of initiatives are being carried out to utilize the fisheries industry for tourism. I could feel the passion of everyone here, for example from the ingenuity of these participatory tourism experiences. I look forward to the day when many people visit Kesennuma through such initiatives.
Furthermore, I am holding this press conference at a new workplace that allows mothers to bring their children with them when they work. I think this is a wonderful initiative, especially viewing it from the perspective of work style reform. We are seeing the start of these kinds of programs, as well as various initiatives for the revitalization of employment. The Government will thoroughly support these efforts, including through subsidies.”
In addition, in response to a question about the holding of the Olympic Games in regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Prime Minister said,
“When I met with President Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Prime Minister’s Office earlier this month, I said that I wanted to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games into an event that can demonstrate to the world how the affected areas have recovered from that large-scale disaster. I also said that I want to support reconstruction through the power of sports. I explained that all of this represented the kind of Olympic and Paralympic Games I wanted to hold. President Bach said that he was considering holding several events in the areas affected by the disaster based on that perspective. I want to respond to this issue and work on it while closely collaborating with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I have also heard that several proposals will be offered this week by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on the venues for canoeing, rowing, and other events. There will be four-party talks on proposals from President Bach, with these talks comprising the IOC, the Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the national Government. I hope to have thorough discussion on the proposals in those talks.”