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The Prime Minister in Action

Motivational Ceremony for the Regional Vitalization Personnel Support System (FY2015)

March 20, 2015

[Provisional translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the motivational ceremony for the FY2015 Regional Vitalization Personnel Support System, held at the Prime Minister's Office.

The Prime Minister said in his address,

“Today, I am extremely pleased to be able to meet the first cohort of the Regional Vitalization Personnel Support System. You are part of the first cohort that not just anyone could have joined, even if they wanted to. You are truly the only people who could have been in this group.
For this initiative, we are dispatching a total of 69 people to municipalities all over the country, from Takasu Town in Hokkaido in the north, to Ishigaki City in Okinawa in the south. Of all the municipalities, I have heard that the smallest one, Awashimaura Village in Niigata Prefecture, has a population of 345 people.

I have also heard that each of you were selected having expressed a desire to work in the regions based on a variety of aspirations. I imagine that you may feel some apprehension, but I expect that you will exert great effort for regional vitalization. ‘We can accomplish things not simply by parachuting into the regions, but through joining with others who want to do something on the ground, as well as with our network in Tokyo.’ These are the words of someone who moved from Tokyo to Shikoku and is now creating jobs using IT.
I hope that you will discover many attractive things in each location and that, as assistants to the leaders of each municipality, you work to stir up winds of change in each region. I believe that all of you are truly central to the regional vitalization being promoted by the Abe administration. I believe that the success of regional vitalization is truly linked to your success. I believe that, as the first cohort, you are truly on a new frontier. Furthermore, your work itself is like a new frontier – you are here because you want to tackle something new together with those in the regions. I’m sure many of you are thinking about it this way. That said, of course, each area faces a variety of situations. I hope that you will go to the regions, meet a variety of people, and do your best for them while listening to them and thinking about what the best path of action is on a daily basis. I hope that you will make great use of your own capabilities in doing so.

Among your numbers is Kimura-san, who is going to my hometown of Nagato City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. I want to tell you about the kinds of problems and issues the city faces, including about personal relationships.
People in the regions have many strong personal relationships. I want you to understand that first, and in doing so, I want you to consider what kind of network to construct. I want you to join with the people living in the regions and feel for yourself what kinds of things they think about, the worries they have, and what kinds of dreams they hold.
 Although it is only a two year period, in these two years I expect that you will make tremendous achievements so that each region can grow with vitality, and so that each region can become the kind of place that can achieve just that. I would like to conclude my motivational remarks by stating that I have great expectations that you will achieve your aspirations. I look forwards to your contributions.”

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