Soichiro Takashima,Mayor of Fukuoka City
- Fukuoka is committed to its vision of becoming a leading city in Asia that achieves harmony between its people, the environment and the city's vitality. In terms of its people, this refers to how everyone helps each other with a focus on the community for the sake of regional safety and security, or how people gather for the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival as a show of public support despite being busy with work.
- In terms of the environment, our predecessors formulated a master plan earlier than the rest of the country. Thanks to the resulting control of urban sprawl, Fukuoka City boasts rich and unspoiled natural surroundings, and its urban functions are concentrated in its center, thus creating one of the world's best compact cities.
- In this way, our city has already reached a high level in terms of its people and the environment. In order to boost the city's overall vitality, we are focusing on FUKUOKA NEXT: our plan to help Fukuoka City bound to the next stage.
- The Tenjin Big Bang project is designed to attract private investment through deregulation rather than subsidization. Through the relaxation of building height regulations as part of the city's National Strategic Special Zone Economic Zone status, and the city's own special relaxation of floor to area ratios, we aim to rebuild thirty buildings in the central Tenjin district by 2024, with the rebuilding of eleven buildings having already been decided.
- We anticipate value-added companies will be concentrated in the new buildings, and we expect collaboration with existing companies to create businesses with even higher-added value.
- We have also expanded the base for startups, with the rate of business openings exceeding 7% for five years in a row—the only ordinance-designated city to do so. But we aren't content simply with a rise in startup rates. Globally, unicorn companies are successively creating new values, products and services through advanced technologies.
- In order to produce innovative startups that originate in Fukuoka, the City is creating a unique Fukuoka-style ‘startup ecosystem', centered around Japan's largest startup support facility, Fukuoka Growth Next. This is in addition to supporting startup companies to advance into the global market through collaborating with overseas startup support hubs.
- However, to create new products and services, outstanding engineers are also essential. This August will see the opening of the Engineer Cafe at the Akarenga Cultural Center in Tenjin, Fukuoka, as part of our drive to create an engineer-friendly city. This will provide an exchange hub where engineers can gather, work and grow.
- Every region has its own unique character, so I believe it is important to maximize the happiness of the people who live there by polishing and developing that character.
- To do so, I believe the power that comes with youth is essential. The element of diversity that today’s Japan lacks the most is youth. Whether in politics or in business, it is rare to find young people at the decision-making level. I want young leaders to take on challenges and change society by utilizing their sensitivity and ideas.
- I want Fukuoka City to act as a regional role model for the rest of the country so that people can see it is possible for regional areas to succeed, and revitalize the whole of Japan in the process.
- Let's challenge together in Fukuoka to create new era of Japan!
- Soichiro Takashima,Mayor of Fukuoka City
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