< What is a desirable region, and what is development?>
I have described the five main regional promotions that I have been involved in, but their content has been changing over the years to follow the changes in regional needs. In future, local society will globalize and IT will progress, but whatever path these changes take, both the country and the region will have to pursue regional promotion from a perspective of independence and internal generation.
So how should we look at the regional development that is the aim of regional promotion, and how should we consider the regions that are the target of that promotion? We intend to make that clear.
A desirable region depends on the level of abilities commanded by the
individual occupants of the region and whether it is easy for them to use
their abilities in the region concerned. Thus it is a society which imposes
few obstacles and barriers when the potentiality of a region’s people
emerges. For example, when individuals want to put their abilities
to use, they must not be blocked by personal discrimination based on their
gender, family status or other birth attributes. Thus, they must have access
to opportunities which enable them to exercise their full potential.
Development is the positive, active pursuit of that situation. Therefore, for example, attracting industry to a region that has only agriculture, or proceeding with the industrialization of that region, will certainly increase incomes, but that is not the ultimate goal. The people living in that region have many different abilities. Previously, only people well suited to farming (such as people who are physically strong or can do the same job for long periods) had opportunities to exploit their abilities.
Attracting factories to that region increases opportunities for other people with abilities valuable in factory work (such as skills for intricate, detailed work, and creativity) to use their abilities, and makes those opportunities more clearly visible. Next, I would like to describe how development and industrialization should be evaluated, in terms of level, scope and dimensions.