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. ”
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’.