KANSAI Close-up

One year passes since establishment of Union of Kansai Governments

 It has been one year this month since seven like-minded prefectures in the Kansai region established the Union of Kansai Governments under the slogan ""The Kansai region will open a new epoch!""
 As Japan's first union of prefectural governments that deals with region-wide, cross-prefectural issues, the organization has attracted much attention and promoted projects in seven categories such as disaster preparedness and promotion of tourism and culture.
 Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake hit, the organization began to implement support activities on a long-term basis through a ""counterpart scheme,"" wherein a team of specific member prefectures assists a pre-assigned prefecture affected by the disaster (Iwate, Miyagi or Fukushima). As of December 1, the organization had sent a total of 54,000 public workers to disaster-stricken prefectures, including police officers, firefighters, medical staff and those who would work in evacuation shelters. Drawing on its experience in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the organization has offered consistent support such as provision of manpower and relief supplies that can meet the needs of affected areas.
 Meanwhile, this summer, ahead of the national government and Kansai Electric Power Co., the organization urged people in the Kansai region to make specific energy saving efforts that can be done easily by each individual and to reduce power use by 5–10 percent, thus demonstrating the organization's strong presence.
 The organization is expected to increase cohesion among prefectures in the Kansai region so as to make a breakthrough toward decentralization through negotiations on the transfer of authority from local agencies of the national government to local governments. The organization is also expected to steadily continue handling administrative and clerical tasks for those projects in the seven categories.
Contact : Union of Kansai Governments
Phone or E-mail 06-4803-5587
Website http://www.kouiki-kansai.jp/