This is deputy mayor Fujimoto, he just started working today. He’s giving a brief speech with his aims.
Described below is the presentation given by deputy mayor Fujimoto.
I am Fujimoto, nice to meet you.
I received a letter appointing me as deputy mayor, on March 19. On the day of starting the new fiscal year, I have a feeling of tension.
In this fiscal year, we have two main pillars of policy. One is the implementation of the Restoration Plan, the other is implementation of the Implementation Plan, which we’ve prepared according to the Basic Plan. The Implementation Plan, which will be explained by the mayor later, was supposed to be drawn up last year. Now, the two main pillars have been completed, the budgets have been decided, and we are ready to get to work.
I, as deputy mayor, recognize that my most important mission is the implementation and actualization of the Restoration Plan in the next four years. Standing at the starting point, I am keenly aware of my brave responsibility for the mission.
When I heard the mayor’s instructions given to the city staff at the hall on the eighth floor, I thought she was creating a vision for our next steps. I hope that the mayor will approach municipal government administration with her visions for the next stage and beyond. Sendai City has now a three-deputy mayor system. I will cooperate with the other two deputy mayors, Mr. Inaba and Mr. Ito, to maintain close communication with each department, and take to take on the role of the municipal government administration, so that the mayor can lead from the front. I would appreciate your kind cooperation.
He was a little bit more nervous than ordinary because today was his first day as deputy mayor. I would also appreciate your kind understanding and cooperation.
Now, let me give an address for the new fiscal year.
The disaster reminded me that the responsibilities of Sendai City staff have been changing to encompass multiple aspects, unlike in the past where responsibility was shared with only our city staff. I gave a speech for one hour starting from eleven o’clock in front of our 502 new colleagues. Some are fixed-term staff. The oldest is 68-years old. We are accepting those who have a variety of experiences in their lives and careers. Meanwhile, the youngest was born in 1993. Those who are very young and were born in the Heisei period are also coming into our ranks. We also have supporting staff from other cities, private companies, as well as the government. People who have different background and careers are going to work together toward the goal of restoration and town development. For me, it will be challenging to manage such various types of staff. For city staff, working with other people having different ideas and backgrounds to assimilate new ideas and learn new techniques and skills will be challenging.
It is said that Japanese culture is a monoculture and it is difficult to add diversity. Now, however, our society is more diverse. I think if our city office adds such diversity, we will be able to promote projects more quickly. I have to manage them correctly to make use of the diversity.
Referring to the instructions to our staff, one of the biggest issues of this year is restoration and development of our hometowns. The main project for this issue is disaster prevention and collective relocation. In fact, such projects have been planned for several decades, but the number of relocating households is less than 2,000 all over Japan. After the disaster, currently 2,000 households are planned to relocate collectively only in Sendai City, the actual number of households that relocate will likely be less than this estimate. We have to recognize that the collective relocation project is the largest one ever, and are making efforts to implement it successfully.
I agree with deputy mayor Fujimoto that the collective relocation project requires a strong will. In the past, the collective relocation of only 10 or 20 households took a long time and spent much energy. We need a lot of strength.
The rest of the Implementation Plan, other than the restoration plan, includes projects related to what we hope to make happen in the next ten years in Sendai.
I want to have the restoration project plan in the right hands and the hope that Sendai will be an ideal model in ten years in the left hand. One Japanese proverb says that, “If you run after two rabbits, you will catch neither.” I, however, have to approach the Implementation Plan with the intention of running after two rabbits to catch more.
Fortunately, we have recently received several reputations from private sector from our actions last year. Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded an Exxon-Mobil Music Prize for presenting the restoration concerts. The Sendai City Industrial Promotion Organization was also awarded a prize by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry for implementation of one-stop service related to the restoration.
If we will make use of Sendai, which has already gained high reputations from various fields, and bodies concerned with Sendai, it is possible to catch the two rabbits. I hope that our staff remember that and work hard with me. I’ll do my best.