<The details of my experience of Regional Promotion>
1) Okinawa Island Development Study Group (1978- 1988)
It was led by Mr. Tadao Kiyonari, currently chancellor of Hosei University (chairman of the Study Group), and I took part in it.
@At that time, Okinawa had just reverted toJapan (from US occupation), and there was not much interchange with the mainland.
People from around the Japanese mainland, who were involved in unique regional activities and crafts, were invited to the islands of Okinawa for seminars and exchanges.This program resulted in Okinawa generating its own local industries and businesses in fields such as carpentry, silk cultivation and weaving, and eco-tourism, using local resources. Those industries are still developing today.
2) Yonaguni Island Port Development Promotion (1987-1990)
@Yonaguni Island is only 100km from Hualien in Taiwan, but because it
had no open port (a port usable for international trade), those traveling
to Taiwan had to go via Naha, the capital of Okinawa, increasing the distance
tenfold to 1,000km. The same was true for distribution of goods.
@Therefore I worked with a newspaper company in Okinawa (Okinawa Times) to hold a symposium and publish special news features that publicized the benefits of a port to the islanders of Yonaguni (who only numbered 1,500).
@This publicity campaign was successful, and the port development project was formally adopted as a gHometown Rebirth \100 Millionh Projecth. I then worked with the island as an advisor.
@The completion of the port opened direct trade with Taiwan and China, enabling a 30% reduction in prices of daily goods and construction materials. The island is also working on other projects, such as intermediary trade and tourism. (Please refer to related material on the CD-Rom).
3) Ibaraki (prefecture) Hometown Academy (1991 - present)
@I am now working at Okinawa University (Okinawa prefecture), but before
that, I was teaching at University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki prefecture. Tsukuba,
near Tokyo, is famous as gTsukuba Science Cityh.
@When the above-mentioned gHometown rebirth \100 Millionh was attempted in Ibaraki in 1988 and e89, there was clearly a shortage of suitable personnel in all the municipalities involved. This shortage prompted the beginning of gIbaraki Hometown Academyh, a program carried out in collaboration with municipalities in the prefecture to educate personnel and build community leaders. I participated in the planning of the project and worked as a full-time instructor for the academy.
@The governor of the prefectural office became the headmaster of the academy, which worked towards gindependent, voluntary and pro-active efforts to build communities in ways that reflect the character of their local history, culture and industriesh, by educating personnel and leaders able to realize that goal. The program targeted municipal staff and the employees of major companies in the prefecture.
4) Campaign to establish air and sea routes between Okinawa (Naha) and
China (Xiamen) (1993 - 1995)
- Radio programs as a tool for regional promotion -
@At the time (1994 and before), Okinawa was situated on the border with Japan, but there were no sea or air routes to other countries, so it could not make the most of its advantages.
@For example, if there was a direct freight route between Okinawa and China, it would have been Japanfs closest point to China, but instead, freight had to go via the ports of Kobe and Kita-Kyushu.
@For Okinawa to exploit its border position in an age of globalization, it needs to open routes for container vessels between Okinawa and China (overseas destinations), establish an organization@(cooperation) to encourage trade between the two countries, and set up a liaison office in China for companies in Okinawa doing business with China
@To achieve these things, people concerned in Okinawa prefecture must be convinced of the advantages, and those who wish to participate in the projects must be invited to do so, reaching a wide range of people. Radio programs were planned for regular broadcast (gGreat Trade Renaissance, every Sunday, 5-6pm) as a tool and a forum for business coordinators, calling for participation in projects. As a result, a regular container vessel link between Okinawa (Naha) and China (Xiamen) was achieved, and it still runs three times a month. Charter cargo flights flew between Okinawa and China four times, leading to a regular link which now runs to Shanghai (daily).@My role was as an advisor to the Okinawa China Economic Exchange Council, in which I carried out theoretical research, made policy proposals and conducted negotiations with the Chinese side.
5) Proposal, promotion and practical activities of Okinawa-style venture
businesses (1995- present)
@The unemployment rate in Okinawa is double that of the Japanese mainland, and income is only 72% of the mainland level. On the other hand, Okinawa now has a business chance that only comes once a century. One of the most modern ways of exploiting business chances is to set up a venture business.
@When I moved to Okinawa University in 1995, I was presenting theories, classifications and policies for venture businesses to use this business chance, as well as promoting such businesses and putting them into practice.
@First I ran night classes called gOpen Venture Seminarh, which was open to the general public. There were an average of 50-60 participants per year.@ I planned, prepared and broadcast a series of 13 half-hour programs on gNew Industrial Theory in Okinawah, as a TV course for the Okinawa-region Broadcasting University
@I also worked for three years planning and preparing gProfessor Yoshikawafs Easy Economicsh (monthly, ten minutes), a program for NHK Okinawa. The program showcased venture businesses in Okinawa
@Graduates of the course started a number of venture businesses with my help, and I am still helping and taking part in their efforts. What Okinawa needs the most now are the actual role models and success stories.