KANSAI Close-up

Comfort and Longevity is Fukui's brand, Gov. Nishikawa

Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture, delivered the lecture, titled 'Brand and Pride: My Job as Governor,' at a time when the prefecture has suffered incidents at the nuclear power station and devastating damage by heavy rains in the summer, at a luncheon meeting of the Kansai Press Club in early December. The following is a summary of his speech.
The Kansai region will become dark without Fukui, because the prefecture is the leading producer of eyeglass rims and supplies 60 percent of electricity consumed in the region.
There was a steam leak in the third reactor of Kansai Electric Power Company's Mihama Nuclear Power Station in August as the reactor had aged considerably. The number of reactors, built 30 years ago, will increase to eight in five years' time. Since it will be difficult to build new stations, it is important to safely operate the existing ones.
When heavy rains collapsed river banks in Fukui City in July, the prefectural government immediately asked for the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel, who rescued 500 persons. No one died in Fukui City.
When a natural calamity occurs, it is important to conduct large-scale relief operations at the early stage. It is particularly worth noting that as many as 60,000 volunteers came to Fukui to engage in relief operations during the July calamity.
Unfortunately, Fukui Prefecture is relatively unknown. However, Fukui Prefecture boasts many things. The life expectancy of Fukui is the second longest in the country. Fukui is the largest producer of the 'Koshihikari' tasty brand of rice. The ratio of serious crime cases to the total population is the lowest. The jobless rate is also second lowest and the housing space per person is the second largest in Japan. I am thinking of establishing 'longevity' as Fukui Prefecture's brand.
The proposed Hokuriku Shinkansen railway, which will pass through Fukui Prefecture, is essential for the country. I hope that the Kansai region and Osaka Prefecture will extend full support to the project.