I am Masatake Shimokawa, the Mayor of Hakuba Village.
On behalf of the Hakuba Village Office, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.
As the New Year dawns, I hope it is a year filled with hopes and the promise of a brighter tomorrow for all of you.
This being the first new year of my second term, I feel a great responsibility to renew my resolve in engaging in vitalizing our village.
Last February, we held the Nordic Combined World Cup which was the first time in 15 years. Akito Watabe, from Hakuba, won the first prize. He followed this by winning the silver medal in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. He also became the second Japanese skier to accomplish the overall World Cup Nordic Combined title, the first being 23 seasons ago.
In July, we launched “Child and Family Support Center Ohisama” aiming to provide continuous support in the period from pregnancy/childbirth to the time a child turns 18. Specialized staff were employed in the field of pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare.
In August, new incineration facility “Kita-Alps Eco-park” in Omachi came into service providing for the greater area; as it had been an issue for a long time.
In October, “Hakuba Mountain Harbor ” opened at the top of Iwatake generating lots of visitors every day. Although this is a private business, I’d like to mention that it has stimulated the potential of visitors for the next green season.
In December, we held the official ceremony for the completion of Kyushoku center (school lunch). Not only will this center provide lunch for the children attending school but also operate as the base of dietary education. We are currently preparing for a full-scale operation to commence in April.
We had many events last year. We challenged to fulfill public welfare by confirming the underlying philosophy of our fifth Master Plan “ with the richness of Hakuba, we can improve ourselves by adapting to its diversity.”
It is the end of the Heisei (the Japanese imperial calendar) and the beginning of a new era. It is also only one more year until 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We endeavor to provide the same high quality of service and hospitality as when we hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I believe that the first step to overcoming a problematic period of depopulation is to share our wisdom among the village and the communities. We engage in a better public administration service with the community supporter system to resolve any problems submitted by the ward representatives.
In closing, I want to sincerely express my appreciation for what is provided by nature, as our tourism industry is centered around our beautiful mountains and quality snowfalls.
May the New Year bring only good things to all of you!
Mayor’s Greeting 2019
Hakuba Village Mayor