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The 82nd ‘Smile Message' from the Mayor (October 1st)

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.

 

October 1st, 2019 (Tuesday)

Good morning everyone.

Firstly, I have a few happy announcements to make.

In regards to the 2019 National Sports Festival that is currently underway, Kashima Teppei of the Policy Coordination Department in charge of regional cooperation efforts came second in the Soft Tennis competition.

I would like to congratulate them on this wonderful result. I'd also like to express my respect for their efforts as an athlete.

Next, I'd like to give my thanks to a few people.

On September 14th, the Community Cultural Hall held the ‘Healthy Heart and Living Symposium'. There were a large number of participants at the symposium, and we were able to partake in a large number of passionate talks.

In addition, on the following day, at Takajo's Kannonike Park, the GLAFES Music & Food Festival was held. We were fortunate enough to have fantastic weather on the day, and there was once again a large number of visitors that turned out to this event and made the day a roaring success.

To the many groups who made these events a reality, in particular the Welfare and Miyakonojo PR divisions, I offer my heartfelt thanks for your efforts. Thank you.

Well then, as of today (October 1st), the consumption tax rate has been raised from 8% to 10%. In response to this change, the amount of local consumption tax has also been increased, and in accordance with this change, the taxes collected by our local regions will increase proportionally.

In terms of the reorganization of ministries in 2001, and the former Ministry of Finance's (Ōkurashō) succession by the current Ministry of Finance (Zaimushō), I was working in the Ministry of Finance's Taxation Office as the Chief Examiner at the time, and had to travel to the EU regarding an international investigation of consumer tax. During this period, we covered the state of consumer tax in all countries currently employing it, tax reduction systems, invoicing, methods for displaying prices before and after tax, and a number of other things. It has been 18 years since that investigation, and this time, alongside the changes to the consumption tax rate have come changes to the reduced tax rate and invoice systems, introducing many things that I personally feel strongly attached to. Presently, the work that you are all putting your efforts into may become the cornerstone of further work 10, 20, or perhaps even 50 years from now. It would make me happy to know that our staff here continue their efforts with this depth of feeling in mind.

There will always come a point at which we as an administration will require our citizens to pay to us a degree of taxes in order to maintain our everyday functions. With regards to this most recent change in consumption tax, there is once more a strong awareness of this fact, and so to all of our staff at City Hall, I ask that you conduct yourselves as civil servants with the awareness of the responsibility imbued by such public funding.

Finally, I would once more like to talk briefly about the ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy'. This month, I would like to talk about ‘Living with Humility, Remembering Our Gratitude', as is found in the 4th passage of the 2nd section of the 1st chapter. You will find the following written on pages 14 and 15 of the handbook that has been handed out to all staff:

‘We are here today, and can work today, as a result of our citizens, our workmates, our families, and the many people around us that give us their support. It is certainly not as if we have each come all this way through only our own efforts.

It is important that we keep this in mind, and always remain aware of our gratitude towards and consideration from those around us, so that we may become colleagues that can believe in each other, furthering our ability to conduct our work.

In addition, remembering how things were when we first began, offering an ear to those who need it, and continuing your work with a mind for learning is essential.

Removing oneself from prideful thoughts, and proceeding with humility, is the path to connecting oneself to the faith of those around us.'

I would also like to include here the words of the founder of Panasonic, Mr. Kōnosuke Matsushita, known as the God of Management: ‘The one thing that is common amongst successful people throughout the world is their humility.'

I find myself in agreement with Mr. Matsushita's sentiment, which is not just entirely in line with the last few words of the previous passage, but speaks to the heart of its meaning: ‘Removing oneself from prideful thoughts, and proceeding with humility, is the path to connecting oneself to the faith of those around us.'

I believe that as humans, as we delve into our work or our passions, it is important to hold in a positive sense a pride for your efforts and results. It is most certainly the case that doing so leads to greater results and success. However, pride can also be the road to one's downfall, and excessive pride can lead to arrogance and conceitedness. By this stage, it is difficult to receive but a drop of faith from those around you.

In essence, it is important to remember to be grateful towards those around you, as well as maintaining a mindset of pride removed from conceitedness and living with humility. These are the types of people we wish to foster and grow, and I hope that we can all continue to learn to become such people together.

Well then, as we enter into October, we also enter into the second half of our financial year. Those who joined us as new employees in April have now well and truly been adopted into City Hall and its work. I'd like to end this month's message with the hopes that our seniors and superiors continue to provide us all with a great deal to learn from, and that we all continue to grow day by day.

'Smile Message' Audio

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

 


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.