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Fukuoka news

February 25, 2012
Opening Event for Amaou Festival
February 15, 2012
Fukuoka Venture Market / Asia Big Market 2012
February 14, 2012
Symposium on Creating a Society in Fukuoka Prefecture in which People Remain Active in Their 70s
February 12, 2012
Third Symposium for Promoting Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region as a World Heritage Site
February 10, 2012
Fukuoka Prefecture Exchanges a Memorandum of Understanding etc. With Bangkok City, Thailand on Strengthening Friendly and Cooperative Relations
February 1, 2012
The International Hydrogen Energy Development Forum 2012
January 30, 2012
The Asian Environmental Exchange Forum
January 27, 2012
Joint Secretariat for the Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone Established
January 27, 2012
The Fukuoka Motor Show 2012
January 25, 2012
Holding of Fukuoka Asia Collection (FACo) 2012
January 23, 2012
Seminar Held to Commemorate Opening of Fukuoka Asia Business Center
January 11, 2012
Harvesting of Fresh Pearls on Ainoshima Island, Shingu Town
December 28, 2011
Delta Air Lines Begins Service on Fukuoka-Honolulu Route
December 25, 2011
The 19th Fukuoka Prefecture Culture Awards Presentation & Commemoration Event
December 10, 2011
The 20th Japan-Korea Strait Coastal Region Governors' Conference
December 6, 2011
Environment Secretary for the State of Delhi, India Pays a Courtesy Visit to Ms. Etsuko Ebii, the Vice Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture

Opening Event for Amaou Festival (February 25, 2012)

Fukuoka's Delicious Produce Attracts a Large Gathering!

The Amaou Festival broadly showcases for consumers the agricultural and marine products produced in the Prefecture, beginning with Amaou strawberries, and on February 25 an opening event for the festival was held at the plaza in front of JR Hakata Station.

In his greeting, Governor Ogawa said "I hope as many people as possible buy and enjoy the delicious agricultural and marine products that this Prefecture is so proud of."

In addition to Amaou strawberries, sales booths were set up that brought together agricultural and marine products such as Genki Tsukushi rice, Hakata Wagyu beef and Fukuoka Nori (dried seaweed). The booths bustled with large numbers of people. The Amaou Festival is also held at Fukuoka Airport.


Governor Ogawa passes out Amaou strawberries


The sales booths bustled with activity

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Fukuoka Venture Market / Asia Big Market 2012 (February 15, 2012)

Capture Asia's Energy and Expand Business!

In Fukuoka Prefecture, the "Fukuoka Venture Market" is held every month in order to support the expansion of business opportunities for venture companies. In an attempt to broaden the scale of this initiative to Asia and encourage venture companies to begin or expand trading with Asian companies, on February 15 and 16 the "Fukuoka Venture Market / Asia Big Market 2012" was held at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Around 200 companies and organizations from inside and outside Japan participated, including venture companies from a broad range of business segments that possess unique technologies, products and services. Those visiting the event engaged in lively discussions.


At a presentation venue, a teleconferencing system was utilized and business plans were presented simultaneously to four cities, including Shanghai and Hong Kong

The "Fukuoka / Asia Contents Market 2012" was held at the same time, and companies involved in gaming, video and other fields exhibited

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Symposium on Creating a Society in Fukuoka Prefecture in which People Remain Active in Their 70s (February 14, 2012)

Toward a Society Where Senior Citizens Can Stay Vigorous and Active

The Prefecture leads the nation in seeking to achieve a "society in which people remain active in their 70s" - namely, a society where senior citizens have a large number of options allowing them to participate in the region and in the workplace, regardless of their age.

In order to foster momentum for that initiative, on February 14 a "Symposium on Creating a Society in Fukuoka Prefecture in which People Remain Active in Their 70s" was held in Fukuoka City. More than 500 participants packed the venue, where business journalist Seiichi Takarabe gave a keynote speech entitled "The Super-Aging Society and Japan's Development Strategies", and Nishijima Corporation President Tokushi Nishijima introduced unique initiatives being implemented at his company, such as the adoption of a retirement system rather than a mandatory retirement system.


"I want to make Fukuoka Prefecture a model for a society of prosperous longevity" explained the Governor in his greeting


Mr. Takarabe expressed hope that "structures will be put in place that enable senior citizens to be active on the front lines"

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Third Symposium for Promoting Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region as a World Heritage Site (February 12, 2012))

Aiming to Achieve Registration as a World Heritage Site

Fukuoka Prefecture, along with Munakata City and Fukutsu City, is seeking to have "Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region" registered as a World Heritage Site, and is engaged in initiatives that include academic research and the promotion of the sites.

In a bid to have as many people as possible appreciate the value of the sites, a symposium was held in Fukuoka City on February 12. In addition to a keynote speech in which a researcher announced the latest research findings for the sites, the symposium included a report on the most recent situation with regard to registration as a World Heritage Site. The speech and report were given further validation from various angles in a panel discussion, during which the sites were highly praised as a potential World Heritage Site.


Around 400 people listened attentively to the speech


Researchers take part in a panel discussion

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Fukuoka Prefecture Exchanges a Memorandum of Understanding etc. With Bangkok City, Thailand on Strengthening Friendly and Cooperative Relations (February 10, 2012)

Aiming for Further Development and Collaboration

Fukuoka Prefecture and Bangkok City in Thailand formed friendly ties in February 2006 and since then have been pursuing exchanges in a variety of sectors, such as the environment and young people.

On February 10 Governor Ogawa visited Bangkok City and exchanged a memorandum of understanding with Bangkok City Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra on strengthening friendly and cooperative relations. In conjunction with this, Fukuoka Prefecture and Bangkok City also entered an environmental cooperation agreement with the goal of proactively promoting exchanges between the two regions in the environmental sector.


The memorandums of understanding on strengthening friendly and cooperative relations

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The International Hydrogen Energy Development Forum 2012 (February 1, 2012)

Transmitting the World's Most Advanced Hydrogen Information from Fukuoka

The Prefecture hosted the International Hydrogen Energy Development Forum 2012 in Fukuoka City on February 1 and 2 in conjunction with the Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy and other organizations.

The latest forum was the sixth time the event has been held, and it drew around 500 hydrogen researchers and company representatives from 19 countries worldwide, the largest attendance yet. In addition to speeches on the latest initiatives for creating a market for fuel-cell-powered vehicles in Japan and Europe, the latest trends in hydrogen energy research were also introduced.


Governor Ogawa giving a greeting in which he said "It is my hope that the Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone can be extensively utilized and a hydrogen energy society can become a reality"


Forum participants listening to a lecture

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The Asian Environmental Exchange Forum (January 30, 2012)

Contributing to Improving Asia's Environment

Asia is undergoing remarkable growth on the one hand, but faces many environmental problems on the other. Fukuoka Prefecture is seeking to make use of its experience and technologies in overcoming serious pollution problems, and is inviting key officials in charge of environmental policies in China, Vietnam, Thailand and elsewhere and holding training.

On January 30 the Asian Environmental Exchange Forum was held, centering on the theme of developing Japan-China municipal cooperation and business exchanges. In his greeting, Governor Ogawa said that he had great hopes that the forum would serve as an opportunity to bring greater vitalization to environmental technology and business exchanges, and that progress would be made in improving Asia's environment. The forum included keynote speeches on the current state of environmental problems faced by China and the challenges they present, and a presentation of examples of efforts being made by Jiangsu Province's Environmental Protection Department, as well as a panel discussion in which cooperation and alliances toward resolving problems were discussed.


Governor Ogawa giving his greeting


The panel discussion

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Joint Secretariat for the Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone Established (January 27, 2012)

Promoting the Special Zone

Fukuoka Prefecture, Kitakyushu City and Fukuoka City established a Joint Secretariat for the Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone within the prefectural office on January 27. In a greeting, Governor Ogawa said that "It is my hope that the three municipalities can come together to work on the special zone wholeheartedly." Going forward, the secretariat will formulate a special-zone plan that incorporates fiscal support measures and regulatory easing, and move ahead with specific projects.

The Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone's website


Pictured from the right: Governor Ogawa, Kitakyushu City Mayor Kenji Kitahashi, and Fukuoka City Mayor Soichiro Takashima


Words of encouragement for the secretariat staff

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The Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 (January 27, 2012)

Promoting the Positioning and Potential of Northern Kyushu's Automotive Industry

The Prefecture is seeking to make northern Kyushu an advanced production base for automobiles, a base that can coherently undertake everything from development through to production. To that end, it is pursuing a so-called the "Concept for the Northern Kyushu 1.5 Million Automobile Manufacturing Base Development." As one part of that initiative, and in order to promote the positioning and potential of the northern Kyushu automotive industry inside and outside Japan, the Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 was held in Fukuoka City over a four-day period from January 27 to 30. Around 140,000 people attended the event.

Governor Ogawa gave an address at the opening ceremony, and said "I hope that you all experience the pleasure, magnificence and various possibilities of automobiles." More than 200 vehicles from inside and outside Japan were shown at the event, including concept cars employing the latest technologies and high-end electric sports cars. Additionally, an automobile production forum and an exhibition of vehicles created by students in Kyushu were also held.


The event bustled with large numbers of people


Governor Ogawa giving a greeting on behalf of the organizers


60% of the vehicles on display were environmentally-friendly models, such as electric vehicles

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Holding of Fukuoka Asia Collection (FACo) 2012 (January 25, 2012)

Brands Founded in Fukuoka Advance into Asia!

In Fukuoka Prefecture, the Fukuoka Asia Fashion Kyoten Suishin Kaigi was established as an industry-academia-government collaboration that aims to establish Fukuoka as a center for Asia’s fashion industry. It is involved in a range of initiatives, including exhibitions and business seminars, training personnel and supporting businesses throughout Asia. As one part of those initiatives it has decided to hold the Fukuoka Asia Collection for the fourth time. A press conference was held on January 25.

The event will be held on March 25, and items from original brands from designers and manufacturers who are active in Fukuoka will be on display. Asian brands and designers will also participate, and the event will transmit new fashion trends from Fukuoka to Asia.

The official website of the Fukuoka Asia Collection


Three individuals who are scheduled to appear at the FACo 2012, at the press conference (pictured from the left: Maki Aizawa, Suzanne and Aiku Maikawa)

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Seminar Held to Commemorate Opening of Fukuoka Asia Business Center (January 23, 2012)

Helping Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises Advance Into Asian Countries

On January 23 the Prefecture opened the Fukuoka Asia Business Center for small- and medium-sized enterprises that are aiming to develop their businesses in Asia, in order to provide them with assistance ranging from the provision of information to local support.

A seminar was held to commemorate the opening of the center, and in his greeting Governor Ogawa said that "This center is a facility for the promotion of all small- and medium-sized enterprises' business development in Asia, and it is my hope it will be broadly utilized by those enterprises."

The event also featured a keynote speech by ATM Inc. CEO Toshiki Hanada on "The Offshore Development of the Wagokoro Tonkatsu Anzu Restaurant Chain," which was listened to attentively by an over-capacity crowd of around 350 people.


Governor Ogawa giving his greeting


Mr. Hanada addressing the people who packed the event


Small- and medium-sized business operators could be seen actively exchanging information in the Center's "interaction area" from the first day of the facility's opening

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Harvesting of Fresh Pearls on Ainoshima Island, Shingu Town (January 11, 2012)

Radiance Cultivated in Ainoshima's Natural Environment

On January 11, on Ainoshima Island in Shingu Town, "hama-age" - the harvesting of fresh pearls from Akoya pearl oysters - took place. Large pearls that on average are 8 mm or more in size are harvested on Ainoshima Island and some of the larger pearls exceed 10 mm. Ainoshima's pearls are noteworthy for their golden color and brilliant luster. Akoya pearl oysters are cultivated for 18 months or more after seeding; pearls are scheduled to be harvested from around 130,000 shells.

The Prefecture will continue to support pearl cultivation by undertaking research into factors in the marine environment that have a significant impact on the quality of pearls, such as water temperature and plankton (which Akoya pearl oysters feed on).


Removing the pearls by hand, one by one


This year also, many large pearls were harvested

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Delta Air Lines Begins Service on Fukuoka-Honolulu Route (December 28, 2011)

Encouraging Friendship between Fukuoka Prefecture and Hawaii State

On December 28, prior to the departure of the inaugural Delta Air Lines' flight between Fukuoka and Honolulu (the flight left at 8:30 p.m.), a ceremony was held at the Fukuoka Airport International Terminal Building to commemorate the launch of the service.

In his greeting, Governor Ogawa noted that 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the formation of sister relations between Fukuoka Prefecture and the State of Hawaii, and said "I am overjoyed that the recommencement of direct flights between Fukuoka and Hawaii in the year of the 30th anniversary will enrich the friendship between the Prefecture and the State of Hawaii, and further encourage that friendship."


Governor Ogawa giving his greeting


The tape-cutting ceremony

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The 19th Fukuoka Prefecture Culture Awards Presentation & Commemoration Event (December 25, 2011)

For the Promotion of Fukuoka Prefecture's Culture

Fukuoka Prefecture presents the Fukuoka Prefecture Culture Awards to individuals and groups that have made distinguished achievements in promoting culture, with the goal of advancing and improving culture in the Prefecture and encouraging cultural activities among prefectural citizens. This year awards were presented to three individuals: author Keiichiro Hirano, Japanese cultural researcher Yoshi Maeda and film director Kan Eguchi. At the awards presentation and commemoration event held on December 25, the award winners gave speeches and a congratulatory organ concert and other events were held.


From the right, award winners Keiichiro Hirano, Kan Eguchi and Yoshi Maeda


The event resounded with the glory of the organ's tones

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The 20th Japan-Korea Strait Coastal Region Governors' Conference (December 10, 2011)

Toward the Development of the Japan-Korea Strait Coastal Region

Saga, Nagasaki, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka Prefectures and the Republic of Korea's Busan Metropolitan City, South Jeolla Province, South Gyeongsang Province, and Jeju Special Autonomous Province are all located on the Japan-Korea Strait coast, and every year a governors' conference is held to exchange views about the two regions' common problems and the regions' outlook for the future, in order to promote the development of both Japan and the Republic of Korea and encourage close and friendly ties between the two countries.

On December 10 the 20th Conference was held in Nagasaki City and views were exchanged on the common themes of youth education and interaction. Additionally, as a separate theme Governor Ogawa introduced the concept of the "Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone" that is being jointly proposed by Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City to the government. Support for the concept as a way of contributing to resolving Asia's environmental problems and helping to advance the Japan-Korea Strait region was incorporated into the conference's joint statement.


A joint press meeting was held after the conference


Governor Ogawa announcing Fukuoka Prefecture's initiatives

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Environment Secretary for the State of Delhi, India Pays a Courtesy Visit to Ms. Etsuko Ebii, the Vice Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture (December 6, 2011)

Promoting Cooperation in the Environmental Sector

Fukuoka Prefecture forged a friendly relationship with the state of Delhi, India in 2007, and the two regions actively undertake exchanges in fields such as the environment, culture and youth development.

From December 5 to 10, Delhi's Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra visited the prefecture to observe international environmental personnel education and training and inspect environmental-related facilities. On December 6 he paid a courtesy visit to Deputy Governor Ebii. Ms. Ebii said that "I am very hopeful the technology and expertise that the Prefecture accumulated in the process of overcoming the pollution generated during its period of economic growth will prove useful." Mr. Chandra said that "I am hoping that through training and other study it will be possible to learn a great deal, beginning with waste disposal issues. I want to further deepen Delhi's exchanges with Fukuoka Prefecture and use this to resolve problems."


Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra (pictured on the right) during his visit to the Prefecture

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