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JLGC Office News June 2021

15 Whitehall

15 Whitehall office

Yokohama participates in first-ever Urban 7 Summit ahead of G7 

Ahead of last week’s G7 Summit in Cornwall, city leaders from around the world met virtually as part of the first-ever Urban 7 (U7) Summit, convened by Core Cities UK. 

G7 member Japan was represented by Fumiko Hayashi, President of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities, and Mayor of Yokohama (Yokohama Deputy Mayor Kazumi Kobayashi appeared at the meeting on the mayor’s behalf). 

The Final Statement issued after the meeting can be read here (PDF). An edited video of the event is also available to view here. 

JLGC supported the event organisers in liaison with Yokohama City and the Mayor Association of Designated Cities.  Part of our role is supporting the international activities of Japanese local authorities in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, and other northwest European countries. 

JLGC Research and Project Support Activities 

Recent examples of research requests from Japan have included a project supporting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government gathering information on the requirements for determining and releasing lockdowns in overseas cities.  Another example of recent support work is a project researching various aspects of COP 26 in Glasgow for Japanese prefectures, focusing on local government environmental projects and examples of sharing best practices and forums for city to city cooperation in this area of policy. 

As the London office of Japan’s CLAIR, JLGC provides support for the internationalisation efforts of local governments in several ways, such as offering on-the-ground support for local governments working overseas and conducting surveys and research about policy and local governance. 

JETAA SIG 

The second JET Alumni Association Special Interest Group (SIG) was held on Friday 18 June supported by JLGC.  In this illustrated presentation, former ALT and MEXT scholar Christopher McHugh reflected on how these two experiences have had a lasting and transformative impact on his career as a ceramic artist and academic. Chris has been a regular visitor to Japan since first traveling there in 1998 to work as an Assistant Language Teacher for the Osaka City Board of Education. The presentation discussed several examples of his practice-led research in Japan, focusing on his most recent work in the ceramics centre of Seto in Aichi Prefecture. SetoMonogatari, the title of this ongoing research project, is a portmanteau word he formed from two Japanese words, setomono, the historical term for pottery made in Seto, and monogatari, meaning story.  

JLGC supports JET alumni activities with funding for events and Future SIG events will be announced on the JETAA UK website here 

Staff Publications 

Two JLGC local staff have published books or in books recently. Head of Policy Research Andrew Stevens has this month published a new edition of his ‘British Local Government’ in Japanese on Tokyo-based publisher Ashi Shobo. The book is an overview of local and regional government in the UK, translated by Professor Yutaka Iwami (Kokushikan University), and provides notes on the historical development of the UK’s system of subnational government as well as legislation, structures and policy context. As the book is the second edition in Japanese from the earlier Guides to Local Government published by Politico’s (2003 and 2006), it covers a substantial breadth of policy and structural changes within the UK’s subnational governance since 2011 including the EU referendum, the introduction of combined authorities and policing and crime commissioners, as well as several mayoral referendums. It also contains a public affairs directory of key legislation, organisational contacts and 2019 general election manifesto commitments on local and regional government by each party. For more information about this publication, click here (Japanese only). 

Research and Communications Officer Karine Tollari will be featured in the Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures by UK-based academic imprint Palgrave, with a chapter on Japan’s implementation strategy of the UN Sustainable Development Goals at a regional level. The chapter covers government initiatives such as the SDGs Awards, which reward local government bodies, companies and organisations based in Japan that have made outstanding efforts toward the realisation of SDGs. Another project described in the publication is the SDGs Future Cities Initiative for which, each year, the Japanese government promotes and offers financial support to ten designated “SDGs Model Cities” that have made considerable efforts to implement SDGs at the urban level by being sustainable, inclusive, environmentally friendly and resilient in the face of natural disasters. More information about the Encyclopedia is available here. 

Danish ID system article  

JLGC published an article in CLAIR’s ‘Forum’ magazine on the Danish Central Persons Register Everyone who lives in Denmark is required to have a civil registration number called a CPR number.  All residents in Denmark need to have a CPR number to open a bank account, access health insurance, borrow books from the library, pay tax, receive a salary and so on. 

Such systems are similar to Japan’s My Number (マイナンバー, mai nambā) system, a 12-digit ID number issued to all citizens and residents of Japan (including foreign residents) and used for taxation, social security and disaster response purposes. The numbers were first issued in late 2015 and are used for accessing local government services. 

The article (in Japanese) can be seen here.  JLGC regularly publishes such articles in ‘Forum’, which circulated widely with information useful for the public sector and promoted internationalisation in local governments and other related bodies. CLAIR publishes 9,500 copies every month and distributes them to local governments, related ministries, embassies, regional internationalisation associations, and other subscribers. 

Tokushima Consumer Affairs info 

The Tokushima Prefectural Government co-hosted Japan’s first G20 International Conference on Consumer Policy with the Consumer Affairs Agency in September 2019, while the Consumer Affairs Agency set up its Strategic Headquarters for Frontiers of Consumer Policy, CAA in the Tokushima prefectural government building as Japan’s hub for international operations of consumer administration in July 2020. In this way, the Tokushima Prefectural Government has been working closely with the Consumer Affairs Agency to contribute to a sustainable international society. 

Recordings of the online event can be watched here: https://www.pref.tokushima.lg.jp/en/world.consumer.forum/ 

World Masters Games Update – registrations reopen 

The Organising Committee of the World Masters Games 2021 Kansai is delighted to announce the 13th of May 2021 as the start of registrations for the upcoming World Masters Games. Please see the official website for details: https://wmg2021.jp/en/ 

Please see below for the new details for the competitions, such as dates and venues: https://wmg2021.jp/en/games/schedule.html

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