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The 77th ‘Smile Message' from the Mayor (April 2nd)

Each month, the mayor prepares a message directed towards the councillors of city hall. As this message is openly available in Japanese to be read by the people of Miyakonojo, it has been translated here in order to openly demonstrate the current beliefs and intentions of city hall, its councillors, and our Mayor.


April 2nd, 2019 (Tuesday)

Good morning everyone.

Firstly, to those who are taking their first steps into society and joining us as of April 1st, I would like to congratulate you on successfully joining us here at city hall. Whilst celebrating your newfound position as representatives of our citizens and our staff, I would like to offer you all my heartfelt support. I believe that there is not a single person amongst you who does not hold feelings of both uneasiness and high expectations, but as I said to you yesterday, I hope that you aim to become ‘a bright and energetic staff member full of human potential', keep your hopes and dreams alive, and continue to work towards fulfilling them, such that you inevitably become a fantastic citizen, fully contributing to our society. Let's continue to work hard together.

Furthermore, the annual staff reassignment took place on the 1st of April. In greeting the new financial year, we also find ourselves greeting 8 new heads of department, 14 new heads of division, as well as there being many of you starting work in new workplaces, standings, and with new members tackling new challenges. I look forward to each and every one of you diving into this work with newfound passion and enthusiasm, as a member of ‘Team Miyakonojo'.

Well then, in regards to the Miyazaki prefecture council elections held on March 29th, which came before the annual staff reassignment took place, in terms of the efforts made towards the running of these elections, I would like to offer you all my heartfelt gratitude for your understanding and cooperation. This round of the Miyazaki prefecture council elections, as there is no extra representative standing for the Miyakonojo region beyond the available positions, your work for city hall in these matters may already be complete. However, there is also the elections to the house of councils being held in July to consider. I hope that I can depend on your continued understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Incidentally, our city now has, through the efforts made by our staff, a brilliant philosophy. Firstly, to all of the offices and members of planning committees that brought this wonderful philosophy to life, I would like to offer you my heartfelt gratitude. Thank you all very much.

The ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy' shows that the most precious resource that we have at city hall are our people, or equivalently, that it is through the nurturing of each and every one of our staff that we can become the greatest city hall throughout Japan. As a result, we have not only an important indicator of both the happiness of our citizens and the degree to which the advancement of our city is being realized, but amidst all this, we can also see quite clearly evidence of our staff holding true to that which I share with you all at every opportunity: ‘8 Guidelines for Work and Beyond', and ‘A Mindset for Managing Municipal Government'.

As a point here, in relation to a question that is sometimes asked by a number of our staff, that of ‘What does being the best City Hall in Japan entail?', the way that I see it, being the best City Hall in Japan is to be seen in the omnipresent eye of our public as one of which you could say ‘our City Hall/civil servants are great! They're the best in Japan!'

In any case, from hereon in, all of our staff should be receiving in due course the ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy' handbook. I urge you all to take the time to read through it, as it is our hope that by making efforts to work using this philosophy that we promote the nurturing of our talented individuals, and realize the advancement of our city and the happiness of our citizens.

Following this, even in these monthly Smile Messages, we will touch on this philosophy, but in particular today, amongst the 30 items in the ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy', I would like to talk about the first item in ‘Chapter 2: Possessing the Right Frame of Mind': ‘Introductions are the Foundations of Everything'.

Since becoming the Mayor of Miyakonojo, as I say in every Smile Message falling on April of the new financial year, in terms of the work that falls to each of our staff members, the first and foremost thing that is necessary for you to complete your work successfully and swiftly are proper greetings. Recently here, we have received an increased number of comments from various members of our community relating to how pleasant our staff's greetings have become, as well as kind words as to their general conduct. As such, here I would like to thank you all again for the efforts that you put in each and every day.

While it may be obvious, greetings are one of the most basic of basics when it comes to life as an upstanding citizen in society. I believe it holds true that ‘those who cannot greet others properly cannot work properly'. In other words, how can it even be possible for those who cannot greet others properly to complete the difficult tasks before them?

That being said, to all of our staff here, one's demeanor and greetings towards our citizens may well be a given, but it is also necessary to greet your coworkers in a similar fashion, and to that end, you should always remember to (GREET) Greet first, Respectfully, and Enthusiastically Every Time*. If you hold these things as important, then not only will the environment around City Hall most certainly improve, but the general disposition of each and every staff member is also guaranteed to improve.

Finally, the new financial year for 2019-20 began as of yesterday, but as you are all likely aware, there was also the announcement of the new era name yesterday. As of the 1st of May, we will enter into the age of ‘Reiwa' (令和). This is, without a doubt, a great turning point of the ages. As we pass through this critical juncture, I am pleased to be able to work hard here as Mayor with you all at city hall.

With the beginning of the new age of ‘Reiwa' (令和), let us all, as the staff of city hall, for the sake of Miyakonojo City, it's citizens, and all of us, move forward into this era together, with the collective mind to create for ourselves a wonderful age to come.

Well then, for this financial year as well, as we begin our work within our reshuffled city hall, I look forward to ‘seriously facing up to challenges' together with all of you, and as we steadily pursue the advancement of our various policies, let us strive towards the realization of ‘Southern Kyushu's Place to Be (The Leading City)' and ‘A City Overflowing with Happy Faces: The Smiling City of Miyakonojo'. Allow me to conclude this month's Smile Message by asking once more your understanding and cooperation, now more than ever, and I look forward to working with you all again this financial year.


* The acronym GREET was translated from the Japanese acronym aisatsu, where each character stands for a different aspect of proper greetings: 「あ」明るく, akaruku, brightly/cheerfully, 「い」いつも, itsumo, always, 「さ」先に, sakini, previously/before (i.e. be the first to greet), 「つ」続けて, tsudzukete, continue (i.e. maintain polite greetings throughout conversation). ‘Respectfully' was included in this acronym to reflect the general nature of Japanese greetings expected from official establishments such as City Hall, in addition to the consideration of the need for honorific language (敬語, keigo) when interacting with customers.


'Smile Message' Audio

You can find the Mayor's Smile Message in audio form on the Japanese Page (Japanese Only).




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For inquiries in English, please contact: City of Miyakonojo, Internationalisation Promotion Office, Address: 6-21 Himegi-cho, Miyakonojo-shi, Miyazaki-ken, Japan 885-8555

Phone (Domestic): 0986-23-2295

Fax: 0986-23-3223

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