ホーム > English > News > The 83rd ‘Smile Message' from the Mayor (November 1st)


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The 83rd ‘Smile Message' from the Mayor (November 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.


November 1st, 2019 (Friday)

Good morning everyone.

Firstly, to begin with, in recently reported news, there have been concerns over an incident in which a male vice principal in their 50's working at a primary school in our city has been arrested within the jurisdiction of the Takaoka police.

Details regarding this incident are still being confirmed, but within the realm of what is currently understood, it is most regrettable that there has been a breach of our nation's laws.

With regards to our board of education, I am sure that there are already recurrence preventative methods being put into place in each of our schools in order to win back trust, but our city as a whole, including ourselves as members of city hall, must once more make ourselves aware of the need for lawful abidance. This is the extent of my current thoughts on the matter.

Now then, on the 19th of October at Takajo's Kannonike Park, as has become a yearly tradition, the ‘Yakiniku Carnival' was opened, where under the blessings of wonderful weather, a large number of people gathered, ‘Miyakonojo Meat and Shochu' made itself known to those near and far, and the day overall made for a vibrant celebration. In addition, as has also become somewhat of a tradition, we all got to enjoy a wonderful display of fireworks.

Beginning with the PR division that was central to this event, and including the tourism association, the Miyakonojo Youth Association, as well as the many other associated persons, I would like to offer you all my heartfelt gratitude. I look forward to more to come from you all in the future.

Well then, this time I have something that I would like to ask of all our staff. I have spoken of this previously in past smile messages, but this is in relation to what has been termed ‘the elimination of service industry overtime'.

In our city, we are working towards reducing the amount of out-of-hours duties required, but there are still situations where it may be necessary. In such circumstances, you must properly apply for out-of-hours, and I strictly urge you to not enter into overtime.

Compared to previously, I believe that the cases of overtime have reduced by a significant amount. However, for example, I have heard that there are still cases where staff wish to apply for out-of-hours duties, but feel that their superior's attitude makes them unapproachable, or that the environment around them makes it impossible. In accordance with this, I ask that all the heads of staff and those in management positions work to ensure that they themselves and the workplace environment around them does not fall into such a category.

On the other hand, I believe that it is necessary to once more remind our staff that even should they wish to apply for out-of-hours, such things are for exceptional circumstances where work cannot be completed with your regular employment hours, even if you give your all. Do not be mistaken. It is entirely inexcusable to spend your day not working, and then apply for out-of-hours. Should such a case arise, I ask that our management teams strictly instruct such people, and should improvements not be found, to contact our HR division. I would very much like to deal with this with impartiality.

In any case, as an organisation on the whole, we are aiming to reduce the amount of out-of-hours work, and eliminate overtime work, so I ask for everyone's understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Finally, I'd like to talk a little on the ‘Miyakonojo Philosophy'. This month, I'd like to talk about Part 1, Chapter 2, Item 5's ‘Keeping Things Simple'. In the Miyakonojo Philosophy handbooks you all hold, written on pages 16 and 17 is the following passage:

“We are all prone to overthinking, and on occasion may perceive things as complicated. However, in order to perceive something's true nature, it is necessary to take that which was perceived as complicated and once more correct ourselves to perceive it as simple. The more that one thinks that things around them are uncomplicated, the more you will approach its original form, and hence its true nature.

For example, while fulfilling the many and various needs of ones citizens may at first glance appear a complicated task, looking at it more thoroughly leads to the more simple objective of ‘realising citizens' happiness and the city's advancement'. In times when you are lost or run into obstacles, you should return to where you began. Having the mindfulness or imagination to consider how one might reconsider the once-complicated as simple is a most necessary skill."

As you are well aware, in the position of Mayor, in my office, each day, there are a significant number of reports and meetings with various departments, and naturally, these cover a wide range of subject matter, and while there are subjects with which I am experienced, there are also subjects with which I am not.   

That being said, I have to make the final decision on many things in regards to this city. On such occasions, I need to be able to make decisions based on more simple principles (Even more so on the occasions where I preside over subject matters I am less experienced with).

For example, ‘Is this really for the betterment of the people?', ‘Is this not for the people, but rather a reflexive measure for city hall? Is this possibly out of selfishness, not wanting to increase my own work, or wanting to make my own day easier, that I plan on doing this?', or even thoughts such as ‘Am I really understanding the reasoning behind why this is being done?' cross my mind. By simplifying matters down to this level, even should I encounter something that is not within my realm of specialties, I have the confidence that I can make the appropriate decisions.

Additionally, since taking up the role of mayor, I have often asked for reports and meetings to be simplifies down to that of a single A4 page, but this is also to foster the skills of ‘perceiving something as simple, and getting the point across to your audience'. As to why, if you do not truly understand the content of what you are trying to report, trying to simplify it down to a single A4 page becomes a nigh impossible task.

Either way, in our case, we can boil down our task to the basic principle of ‘will doing this realise citizens' happiness and bring about the city's advancement'. May we all continue to learn how to perceive the simplicity in things around us going forward.

Finally, as we step into November, there remains but 2 months of this year. As I always say to all of you, I'd like for you all to possess the sense of speed required to complete this financial year's major projects by the end of this month. From December through to March of next year, you will find that time disappears rapidly, and I am always of the frame of mind that you only truly have up until the end of this month to sit down and tackle the big projects before you. Additionally, should you possess the sense of speed to progress through your work in this manner, you should ultimately find that you have no issues completing all of your work for this financial year by the time that March comes around. So please, find for yourself that sense of speed, and push through your work as best you can.

Well then, it's going to gradually get colder from here on in, so be careful of your health, and I'll end this month's Smile Message by hoping that you all enjoy the days to come.

'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.