The main content of this page begins here.
In his mid-thirties, Ken Namikawa was elected mayor of Tenri, which is adjacent to Nara, with its important religious and scientific characteristics, to become the youngest elected mayor. He combines the enthusiasm of youth and diplomacy which he learned from his experience as a diplomat in Egypt, where he studied, as well as the wellknown Japanese ingenuity.
He welcomed us warmly in his office at the city’s municipality, as he affirmed his determination to strengthen its presence on the international map due to its historical and touristic assets, and for being home to an important university. Namikawa said the first of his goal is to implement the strategy of the government to develop areas and limit migration from surrounding areas to the capital and major cities through providing residents with job opportunities.
He said that some major goals must be characterized by ambition, change and being away from routine, so he started a new experiment for remotely working through the Internet, so that youth can participate in a certain project wherever they are geographically.
Most companies in the city are small and midsize, and find it difficult to find suitable workers due to migration, as well as the presence of graduate students who do not get suitable opportunities. It is good to establish a job center that harmonizes the needs of all and have its goals aim at the city’s interests, besides other projects such as greening an empty yard near the station in agreement with residents and owners, said Namikawa.
Namikawa, who follows the Tenrikyo religion which started in the city about 179 years ago, used the saying “God only helps those who helps themselves”, so the human being must work hard, and God likes those who help others. Namikawa finds multiculturalism as an opportunity to strengthen dialogue and not divide. He said the city and Japan in general are an example to be taken in the field.
*Originally published on Kuwait Times on Feb. 8th, 2016.