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The 79th ‘Smile Message' from the Mayor (June 4th)

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.


June 4th, 2019 (Tuesday)

Good morning everyone.

Firstly, I would like to give everyone my thanks. On the 31st of May, the 2018 / 2019 closure of receipts and expenses was completed without incident, due to the tireless work of our accounting division, tax collection management division, health insurance & pension division, and many other related divisions and departments. Throughout our city, due to the continued efforts of these supervising divisions, the amount we collect as a city continues to increase year after year, and as a result, we have been able to continue development on a number of policies. Along with once again giving my heartfelt thanks, I also look forward to and ask for your continued efforts from hereon in.

Now then, over the 2 days from May 14th to 15th, the 124th Kyushu Mayor's Meeting was opened, where 111 of the 119 mayors across the 8 prefectures in Kyushu & Okinawa, as well as close to 400 distinguished guests, were hosted by our city.

We, as the host city, put on display a combined reception from both our staff and our city's businesses, and it is due to this fantastic display of hospitality that the 2 days these representatives spent here during the Kyushu Mayor's Meeting was such a great success. You all have my heartfelt gratitude.

At the conclusion of the mayor's meeting, a large number of the mayors in attendance commented not only on the superior taste of our meat and shochu, but also on how moved they were by the heartfelt reception of our staff. I myself was also moved by how truly superb our hospitality was. Thank you all very much.

 Further to this, at this mayor's meeting, there were around 150 of our staff who, over the course of these 2 days, directly greeted those in attendance, but there was also the remainder of our staff who took upon themselves the regular business of those 150, and I believe that the words of praise that we received from the many in attendance over these 2 days are a reflection of the efforts of our city in its entirety. Once again, I would like to give my sincere thanks to all of our staff during these two days.

In addition, on May 26th, at Soo City's Sueyoshi General Center, the ‘Convention on the Promotion of the Use and Maintenance of the Miyakonojo-Shibushi Highway' took place, wherein the governor for Miyazaki Prefecture, the Honourable Shunji Kono, and the governor for Kagoshima Prefecture, the Honourable Satoshi Mitazono, announced plans for the section between the Kanemidake and Sueyoshi interchanges, as well the section between the Ariakehigashi and Shibushi (tentative name) interchanges, would be opened by the start of the 2020 financial year. I am grateful for the wonderful presentation delivered, and thankful for the work conducted by the various businesses across Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures (as well as all other businesses throughout Japan that have assisted). Finally, I would also like to give my thanks to all those who have assisted in completing all requests related to this project to date.

During this opening ceremony, it was announced that 70% of the project (that is, the highway extending from the Yokoichi interchange through to the Shibushi interchange) will be completed by the 2020-21 FY, with 80% expected to be completed by the 2021-22 FY after the completion of the Yokoichi interchange to Otobo interchange section. In essence, as of the 2021-22 FY, only the Otobo interchange to Shibushi interchange section will remain to be completed.

Since being inaugurated as mayor, the completion of the Miyakonojo-Shibushi highway has been an area in which a great deal of effort has been invested, and I am elated to see progress on its works, which were only 30% complete when I took office, already aiming towards 80% complete in the coming years.

I as well will continue to invest the greatest amount of effort possible towards developing the Miyakonojo-Shibushi highway, and I hope that I can count on the understanding and assistance of all of our citizens and staff in this manner.

Finally, I would like to discuss something in relation to the ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy'. This month, I plan to talk about ‘appearances for our citizens', as appears in the second line of the second passage of the first chapter of the Miyakonojo Philosophy. In the Miyakonojo Philosophy Handbook that will eventually be distributed amongst everyone, the following is written:

“City Hall is a service industry based around the service of its citizens, and as such, our citizens are our customers. To this end, your hairstyle or clothing, that which makes up your appearance, should be tailored with consideration to how it will be viewed by our citizens. In essence, it is the thoughts of our citizens that should drive everything. Even should the actual undertakings of services be satisfactory, if the remaining impression of the staff's reception is negative, so too is the overall impression.

Your appearance should be maintained for the sake of all those you come into contact with, and maintaining an appearance with a sense of cleanliness suitable for the time and place, forms the basis of a proper reception. Paying excessive attention to one's attire leads to and outward appearance aimed at one's own fashion, and so we rely on the mutual confirmation of suitability from fellow workers, and strive towards the required state of appropriate appearance for the sake of our reception of others."

On this occasion with regards to appearance, although this topic has been mentioned in prior Smile Messages, previously, I have had the unfortunate experience of coming across some staff with less than appropriate attire. In relation to this, even should 99 of our staff be considerate of their appearance, should there be a single staff member who does not appear appropriately, the overall view of City Hall, regrettably, will be reduced to the way in which that 1 member is viewed.

Just as was written in the previous passage, City Hall is considered a service-based industry dedicated to servicing the needs of our citizens, and as such, our citizens are our customers. Owing to this, the clothing and hair style you present at City Hall should be, to the greatest degree possible, be in line with ‘how such a presentation would be received by our citizens'. Should our citizens feel that such clothing or hair-styles are unbecoming of City Hall staff, or should your superiors or co-workers convey similar sentiment, I ask that you take swift action to improve your appearance. In addition, should any of the senior staff notice anyone in their department or division who fall under this umbrella, I ask that you please advise them firmly and appropriately.

Well then, the rainy season is just rearing its head, so to wrap up this month's smile message, I hope that you all take care of yourselves, and find fulfillment both in your public and private lives.


'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

Phone (Intl.): (+81) 986-23-2295

Email: intl@city.miyakonojo.miyazaki.jp

A speaker of English is generally available Monday-Friday from 8:30 A.M. ~ 4:30 P.M. Japan Standard Time. Please understand there may be times an English speaker is unavailable. Please note that the information contained on this website is intended for citizens of Miyakonojo City. Please direct questions regarding matters such as health or tax in other cities to the appropriate local government.