Let’s Keep It Up, Japan! Declaration of Revitalizing Shinshu(Nagano)

April 25th, 2011

~A Revitalized Shinshu will support the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas~

Now Japan faces an unprecedented hardship caused by the worst disaster we have ever known. Sakae Village in Northern Nagano was one of the areas hit by the strong earthquakes, and suffered damages. The Tohoku region lost many industrial bases, which is affecting the whole nation. Economically, the whole nation, including the Tokyo Metropolitan area which bears the burden of rolling blackouts, looks as if it had been struck by the huge tsunami.

Considering the current situation, what should we do? Shouldn’t we actively advance economic activities for the sake of the affected areas and the whole nation? It is important to be considerate of the victims. However, if this consideration weakens the economy of the nation, it will cause unintentional adverse effects. A liquor shop owner in the Tohoku region said he didn’t want us to refrain from having cherry blossom viewing parties out of consideration for them. Rather, he wants us to enjoy the cherry blossoms while drinking sake from Tohoku. So our mission is not to be considerate and hold back economic activities, but to revitalize the economy by, say, intentionally purchasing products made in Sakae Village and Tohoku, or by visiting their less affected tourist attractions.

The tourist destinations in Nagano are doing fine, and do not have any problems welcoming visitors. Most of our tourist attractions were not affected by the earthquakes and none of them have rolling blackouts. There is no threat of radiation. Our air, water and food are all confirmed to be safe. Tourism has the power to revitalize people. Nagano, as a prominent tourist destination, would like to welcome many people, including the earthquake victims, and revitalize the affected regions with that power.

Last month’s disaster teaches each of us to do whatever we can do for the reconstruction of the affected regions, wherever we stand. Our strength is insignificant by itself, but when we get together, our strength becomes greater, spreading to the whole nation. Let’s revitalize Shinshu! And a revitalized Shinshu will support the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas.

Shuichi Abe
Governor of Nagano Prefecture