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TOKYO, June 12 KYODO -


In the fourth area of ''strategies to make Japan a tourism-oriented country and revitalize local areas,'' promoting tourism using Japan's cultural heritage and natural beauty can be instrumental to the economic revitalization of the regions. Already, the conditions for the issuance of visas have been drastically relaxed under the Hatoyama Cabinet in order to increase the number of tourists from China.

If agricultural, mountainous and fishing villages are able to handle production, processing and distribution on their own in an integral manner, and thus generate new added value, this would generate local employment and nurture healthy local communities in which to bear and rear children. Developing agriculture, forestry and fisheries as core industries in the regions would also contribute to raising Japan's ratio of food self-sufficiency. In particular, forestry will play a new role in a low-carbon society. The trees that were planted after the end of World War II have now grown tall, and it is now a good opportunity to revitalize the forest industry by creating new transport road networks and other measures. The introduction of the individual household income support system and other policies for agriculture, forestry and fisheries shall be advanced from this perspective. Even as I speak, livestock farmers in Miyazaki Prefecture are nervously looking after the cattle and pigs that they have lovingly raised like their own children. The local people are fighting furiously to halt the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. The government is making an all-out effort to prevent the spread of infection, and shall take full measures to support the livelihoods of affected farmers and to help them rebuild their businesses.

In order to revitalize the regions, we will take a strategic approach which utilizes the know-how and resources of the private sector in order to develop social infrastructure which is truly necessary. We shall also support small and medium-sized companies brimming with entrepreneurship.



Extpub | by Dr. Radut