Kobe's Problem shcuedule English Top Page E-mail to Yasui
Report and Information Profile
Earthquake LINK HOME

However, the central bureaucracy has thoroughly resisted the Rincho reforms. Resistance was supported by Zoku-Gin Diet members. These politicians came from the bureaucracy. They only keep their political career with interests like a new bridge, or road for their electoral district. They offered no answer to the emasculated Rincho to explain the defiance of the requirement of "transferring authority to the designated city." On this point, I would like to have the mayor's point of view and let me know how he is planning to proceed in the negotiations.

Furthermore, we must be aware that this long track record of these powerful bureaucracies has not only taken the teeth from our local autonomy, but I fear that it has also caused our local assembly to exist in name only.

For example, on September 16, I met with my fellow members to deliberate the 62nd ordinance with the executive committee of the Public Works Bureau. We were to modify the articles of Public Corporation of the road of Kobe City to allow the construction of the Ohkura Mountain Parking Lot. At the same time, we requested permission of the Cabinet minister of Construction.

I can not see any reason it is necessary to get the Cabinet Minister of Construction's permission to modify the article of Public Corporation of Kobe City's roads.

I then asked a bureau chief, "What will happen if the Cabinet Minister opposes the plan after our City Council has agreed on it. Is there an example or precedent of this happening? The Bureau Chief answered me coldly and fearlessly, "We have had no example of that before. We have already arranged this with the Cabinet's Construction Minister.

Proposed plans like these are supposed to planned by the citizens and City Council, then submitted to the Ministry of Construction to be judged. However if it has been arranged previously, then I have to say that the council doesn't have as tight control in this process as it should.

However, I am not criticizing the Council, the Bureau Chief, or the Public Works Bureau in the slightest. I know this thing has happened several hundred times. Moreover, this not only happens in Kobe, but is usual in other ordinance designated cities

What it all comes down to, is the reducing of our importance to the level of an opinion gathering process for the central bureaucratic system which has too much power to let us decide such matters. I would like to have the mayor's opinion regarding this matter.

Next, prefectural Governor Kaibara, as the opinion leader of the "All Japan Governors' Convention," is an aggressive proponent of decentralization. He also personally hosted the New Administration's March 1992 public meeting to promote friendly discussion of these issues. I would like to ask, what is our position regarding the transfer of autonomy to the Cities, Towns and Villages?

Decentralization of power has become a big political theme. The non-government Rincho issued an emergency resolution on 22 December 1992 for imperative action. When the Government accepted Rincho�s recommendation, they met strong opposition from the central bureaucracy.

Their emergency recommendation stated, "this wave of decentralization is the third wave, following the Meijin-Ishin Revolution, and the New Constitution."

So, we would like to declare this movement "The Decentralization Revolution" and resolve that "each citizen is the crucial to the successful realization of the Decentralization Revolution."

This issue is a good way to understand the situation facing our ordinance-designated cities. In my opinion, it is better to prioritize administration reforms more than political reforms. I would like to have the mayor's opinion on this matter.

Return | NEXT

Toshihiko Yasui
OFFICE: 2-15-27 Mikage-honmachi, Higashinada, Kobe, Hyogo 658-0048 JAPAN
E-mail yasui@yasui.net
Voice 81-78-842-3020 FAX 81-78-841-3090

For technical things regarding this web site, please mail to webmaster@yasui.net .

Web Design � DIGIHOUND LLC. NM USA/ Kobe, Japan 2002