Skip to main content

Home >  News >  The Prime Minister in Action >  November 2018 >  National Congress of Town and Village Mayors

The Prime Minister in Action

National Congress of Town and Village Mayors

November 28, 2018

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address
[Provisional Translation]
On November 28, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the National Congress of Town and Village Mayors held in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister said in his opening address,
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations for the successful opening of the National Congress of Town and Village Mayors today in such a magnificent manner. The representatives from Yamaguchi Prefecture, my hometown, are seated in these VIP seats right in front of me. I would like to thank the secretariat for this special consideration; at the same time, I feel much pressure. I would like to extend my heartfelt respect to all the town and village mayors for your dedicated work every day on the front lines of local government to develop your communities and improve the welfare of your residents.
To protect our beautiful and traditional hometowns, and pass them on to future generations, it is important to create an attractive community where young people would think that they can find opportunities there and wish to join. The town of Shimanto, located in the middle reaches of Shimanto River, known for its clear waters, was one of the towns confronted by population outflow, particularly young people. Meanwhile, 16 Regional Vitalization Cooperation Volunteers, who came into the town, engage in various missions and are actively participating in the community, adding dynamism, such as becoming an apprentice to charcoal-making artisans, cultivating shiitake mushrooms, or coaching the youth soccer team. 70% of the Regional Vitalization Cooperation Volunteers have settled down there after their term ended and started businesses or other activities. The fusion of people with new ideas and members of the local community generates new vitality in the regions. In order to create such flows of people across the whole of Japan, we intend to strongly support U-turns (from one’s hometown in a local district to a city and back), I-turns (from one’s hometown in a local district to a different local district) and J-turns (from one’s hometown in a local district to a nearby city) among young people, including the expansion of the Regional Vitalization Cooperation Volunteers.
Furthermore, in order to maximize the unique appeals of each region, such as lush natural environments and distinctive local specialties that the residents of the towns and villages have continuously protected and nurtured, we will exert every effort to provide a strong boost for the enthusiasm and distinct creativity of the regions through measures such as the 100-billion-yen Regional Revitalization Promotion Grant.
This summer, various parts of Japan suffered severe damage in the wake of successive natural disasters, including the earthquake in the northern part of Osaka, the heavy rains in western Japan in July, Typhoon No. 21,* and the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake. Using the supplementary budget, which was recently passed in the Diet, we will accelerate disaster recovery, and implement various measures with the highest priority, such as safety measures for concrete walls to protect the lives of our children, and the installation of air-conditioning units in public elementary and junior high schools across Japan as a countermeasure to heatstroke. Moreover, to further promote the building of safe communities, we will draw up emergency measures for disaster prevention and disaster mitigation, as well as the building of national resilience, by the end of the year. We will implement them intensively over the next three years. I have issued instructions last week to incorporate the measures among them that should urgently be implemented into the second supplementary budget.
The greatest challenge facing Japan is the declining birthrate and the aging of society. We will tackle this challenge head-on, and promote reforms of the social security system, which is aimed at bringing peace of mind to all generations, from children to the working generation and the elderly, over the next three years.
Going forward, I hope that all the town and village mayors will continue to stand at the forefront as leaders of local communities, and exert your abilities to the fullest for the development of your town and villages. At the same time, I ask once again for your understanding and cooperation in regard to the policies that the Government is promoting.
I would like to conclude my address by extending my best wishes for the further development of the National Association of Towns and Villages, the further success of everyone in attendance today, as well as the further development of local communities. Congratulations once again on this successful gathering today.”
*Typhoon Jebi

Page Top

Related Link