“Tochigi is blessed” said many of the experts and researchers whom we interviewed this time.
For example, Tochigi has advantages both of city and countryside.
It has green mountains and rich and wide plain fields to produce delicious agricultural and livestock products. It has easy access to the Tokyo metropolitan area and is blessed with tourist resources and natural landscape appealing to the world.
It also has various advantages to attract companies.
It is more secured than other regions because of low rate of disaster occurrence. Furthermore, people in Tochigi are honest and warm-hearted.
Many people are earnestly engaged in manufacturing. Some highly valued the characteristic of people in Tochigi and said they have stronger ties in neighbors than people in Tokyo.
The result of data analysis and verification also shows many charms and potentials of Tochigi for the future.
It is certain that depopulation is an economic disadvantage.
However, during our interviews, we were encouraged by the comment, “the resources for growing which belong to the region won’t disappear.”
Therefore, selection and concentration are key. Support focusing on what we have succeeded in and what we expect to grow in the future is required.
The key players are three industries, “manufacturing”, “farming” and “tourism”.
Particularly, the manufacturing is full of potentials with its highly skilled development, processing and assembling capability.
It may improve its productivity and disseminate “Made in Tochigi” and its technical strength to the world through ICT technology.
The farming also may grow through the implementation of ICT technology and the tourism may be further developed and grown using big data and ICT in highly variable inbound marketing.
Concerning the community building in fast-aging society, further discussion on reform of the system to accept foreign labors which the government and the businesses finally started working on, is required.
In Tochigi, there is the possibility of receiving remarkably excellent foreign students and nurture work-ready human resources through the technical education focusing on manufacturing.
For Japanese students, while they learn with competent foreign students, they will have a wider view and improve their learning level. Increasing the number of foreign student will bring further benefit to nurturing of human resources.
We marked the 140th anniversary.
We were sometimes pleased with the development of Tochigi, sometimes expected a lot from its future or worried about the future. We have provided news on the local communities always with Love for Tochigi.
Things which have not changed for 140 years and may not be changed in the future are local people who are interested in and want to know more about the local communities.
We will design the future vision for the hometown and pass down our passion about hometown and the traditions and genes developed by Tochigi to the next generations.