INTERVIEW: Minister Eyeing Regional Revitalization thru Digital Technologies


Tokyo, Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan's regional revitalization minister Naoki Okada has said in a recent interview that he wants to make regional areas more powerful by taking advantage of digital technologies.

"It's an urgent issue to advance regional revitalization further to correct the concentration of the country's population in Tokyo," said Okada, who assumed the post in last month's shake-up of the cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following the July 10 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

"While efforts to date have made some success, various social issues remain unresolved in local areas, such as employment, transportation, education, medical care and social welfare," Okada, an Upper House member, said.

"It's important to resolve these issues and accelerate regional revitalization by utilizing digital technologies while making the most of the characteristics of each region," he said. "I will make utmost efforts to produce results from the Kishida administration's Digital Garden City Nation initiative," Okada said.

In response to local communities' concerns that too much focus on digitalization could leave regional revitalization behind, Okada pledged to promote existing initiatives as well and listen to opinions from local areas.

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