& More Musings about Life in our Area
While he has been criticized for having a short temper, and being too severe at times, or even for not understanding what junior
high school students are like, he is a far thinking and far reaching mayor, – one Japan needs more of.
At one junior diet, (a session he holds for junior high students in Kaisei,) he attempted to get ideas from the students about the
future of Kaisei Town, Tsuyuki became angry, and he severely criticized the students for being noisy.
The next group of students were on their best behavior however. My wife led them in, and feeling chagrined, they were very, very quiet.
Despite occasional bouts of being short-tempered or severe, Mayor Tsuyuki is a good man and a great mayor. He has made Kaisei
Town a much better place. The Head Office of Fuji Film moved from Minamiashigara to Kaisei Town a few years ago. Minamiashigara
could not put on a fireworks show at the local Kintaro Festival in 2010. MA suffers from a lack of tax money, a problem Kaisei Town
doesn`t seem to lack.
I like people who think outside of the box, ( a rarity in Japan), and Kaisei`s Mayor is certainly one of these people.
Not only is he creative himself, but taps the ideas of others to make Kaisei the envy of the towns and cities around it.
He hired a friend of mine, Sandra Golinski (Isaka) to work for him. He taps into the ideas of non-Japanese as well.
Kaisei`s Mayor Tsuyuki responds to questions from Odawara Living.
Kaisei is zoning the land of the town to keep factories away from neighbourhoods as much as possible.
Many of the roads are wide, with tree-lined sidewalks, that are safe for the children to walk to school on.
Like many towns and cities in Japan, Kaisei wastes enormous funds every year on ashphalt and cement,
but that seems to be a Kanagawa-wide initiative problem rather than a Kaisei one. In Minamiashigara, they are even
putting cement in the Kari River to make it more like a canal. However MA is not Europe, we don`t have
a gently meandering river much of the time. Torrential rains cause the Kari to become a frothing, dangerous
place to be, and undue much of the crane work it took to make it canal like. So after every typhoon you see the
cranes back in the river “repairing,” things. We have many typhoons between August to October!
In Conclusion, I think the government of Minamiashigara can learn many lessons from Kaisei Town and Mayor
Tsuyuki, to improve MA. Not being able to operate the pool in Iizawa, no fireworks, and closing the cultural center,
these are all big problems and bring down the morale of the people.
More on Kaisei Town
Toru Endo on Waste Reduction in Kaisei Town