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Dialogue with the Mayor of Kaisei Town

Kaisei`s Progressive Mayor Responds to Questions about Kaisei Town
Kaisei is famous for its chrysanthemum festival every June, and for being one of the most beautiful small, green towns in Japan.

Kaisei`s Progressive Mayor Responds to Questions about Kaisei Town:

“Kaisei Town is one of Japan`s great ones. When a new shopping mall or an apartment building is built, it comes with a garden. Unfortunately this is all too rare in Japan, but hopefully is a growing trend. (Pun not intended!) Kaisei Town truly is a garden city. ”

–Kevin Burns
Photo of Kaisei Town by Sandra Isaka

(Mayor Tsuyuki`s letter was also edited by Samantha Leggett)
This was in response to some questions Kevin Burns asked at the Odawara Bulletin Board.
Mayor Tsuyuki has written a response IN ENGLISH,

and has asked me to correct it and post it for him.

Here is what he wrote:
Ques #1: Why have

factories been built right next to neighborhoods?
Why do the people living in your town have to smell and

breath that polluted air?
“As you say, factories are usually built next to neighborhoods.

That’s true, but now the circumstances are improving by law. Japan

was largely destroyed in WWII, and catching up with

the ‘West’ became the most important issue for our

country. Japan thought that developing the country was

more important than maintaining the living standards

that existed. This policy caused much pollution and

environmental disruption. Over time, Japan realized that a

healthy environment was just as important as developing

the nation. Currently, two of the top priorities of

our town is to develop a ‘Recycle Society’ and to

make Kaisei a ‘Garden Town’.”
Question #2: Are

there zoning laws now that prohibit factories from

being built next to neighborhoods?
“Yes, we now

have a bylaw concerning land zoning, but there wasn’t

such a law in the past. In the past, modernization was

our highest national interest and it caused an

environmental crisis. I think that zoning laws are one of the

most important concerns in order to build a beautiful

town. The northern part of Kaisei is our ‘agricultural’

zone, the center is our ‘living and shopping’ zone, and

the south is our ‘new town’. Our current ‘factory’

zone is beside the Fuji Xerox Research Center on the

border with Minami Ashigara. (The research center

actually lies in Kaisei). Kaisei is currently trying to

attract ‘clean’ industries, such as digital technology,

to build in that zone. Other possible developments

include are the construction of a very beautiful

agricultural park (like our hydrangea park), and the

reconstruction of a large thatched roof home to be used for

exchanges between urban and rural people. We also have

great plans for the Kaisei Station area, our ‘new

town’. The ‘new town’ has bylaws concerning the

construction of a shopping area, living area, and factory area. The factory area was mentioned above. The shopping and living area is currently being built, and a top priority is ‘living with nature’.

About kintaro63 (78 Articles)
Writer and teacher in Japan

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