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2014年7月 8日 (火)

中枢拠点都市 「地方創生」へ戦略が問われる

The Yomiuri Shimbun
‘Regional pivotal city’ idea must lead to reinvigoration of local economies
中枢拠点都市 「地方創生」へ戦略が問われる

The rapid shrinking of the population, the graying of society and the widening economic disparity between big cities and other regions of the country have been progressing alarmingly. Many municipalities are facing the daunting challenge of what must be done to revitalize local economies and maintain the quality of administrative services for their residents.
 急速な人口減少や高齢化、大都市圏と地方の格差の拡大が進んでいる。いかに地域を活性化し、住民への行政サービスを維持するかは、多くの自治体にとって共通の課題だ。

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is set to designate “regional pivotal municipalities” from among the country’s 61 cities with a population of 200,000 or more, with the exception of those in the nation’s three major metropolitan areas, including Tokyo. It aims to launch a system in which the designated cities will act as a driving force for economic growth in the respective regions.
 総務省は、東京など3大都市圏以外にある人口20万人以上の61市から「地方中枢拠点都市」を指定し、その地域圏の経済成長の牽引けんいん役を担わせる制度を開始する。

The envisioned midsize regional pivotal cities are to enter into “cooperative pacts” with cities, towns and villages surrounding them on the basis of the Local Government Law, which was revised in May. They are expected to allocate roles among the entities involved and mutually decide on a direction for bringing about the rebirth of the localities. The municipalities are to work out regional versions of the nationwide growth strategy comprising a range of programs, including those for the promotion of local industries and tourism.
 中枢拠点都市は、5月に成立した改正地方自治法に基づき、周辺市町村と「連携協約」を締結し、各自治体の役割分担や、地域圏のまちづくりの方向性を定める。産業・観光振興など「地域版の成長戦略」も策定する。

The central government will provide each regional pivotal city with hundreds of millions of yen in additional local tax grants each year. Pilot projects under this concept are scheduled to be implemented in nine cities this fiscal year, prior to full-scale implementation from fiscal 2015.
 中枢拠点都市には、年数億円の地方交付税が加算される。今年度は9市でモデル事業を行い、来年度から本格実施する予定だ。

The local growth strategies should adequately reflect local characteristics and the area’s current situations. It is essential for the municipalities to make the best possible use of private-sector ideas and vitality through discussions with local businesses, universities and others about what the future of the regions should be.
 成長戦略には、地域の特性や実情を反映させたい。各自治体が、地元企業や大学と地域の将来像を議論し、民間のアイデアや活力を活用することが欠かせない。

Japan’s population has been shrinking since it peaked at about 128 million in 2008, and is projected to fall below 100 million in 2048. The aging rate of the population—the percentage of people aged 65 or older out of the country’s total population—is forecast to reach 40 percent in 2050, compared to 20 percent in 2004.
 日本の総人口は、2008年の約1億2800万人をピークに減少し、48年には1億人を切る。高齢化率も、04年の20%から50年には40%に達する見通しである。

Population declines in areas outside big cities are especially serious. It will certainly become difficult for each municipality to maintain various public facilities and provide wide-ranging administrative services all by itself.
 特に、地方の人口減は深刻だ。各自治体が単独で様々な公共施設を維持し、あらゆる行政サービスを提供するのは困難となろう。

Follow good examples

The blueprint of the scheme calls for integration of high-level urban functions into the regional pivotal cities. Surrounding municipalities are supposed to share roles in such fields as industrial production and medical services, in a way conducive to maintaining the quality of livelihoods of local residents. These objectives are quite understandable.
 高度な都市機能は中枢拠点都市に集約する。周辺自治体は、産業、医療分野などで役割分担し、住民の生活の質を維持する。そうした構想の狙いは理解できる。

The realignment of aging public facilities is important in this connection, to ensure their optimum reallocation in the integrated municipalities in a way well suited to desires of their users, instead of simply rebuilding them in the same places as they are currently located.
 老朽化した公共施設は、同じ場所に建て替えるのでなく、圏域内で適正配置となるよう利用者の目線で再調整することも大切だ。

The city of Fukuoka has been proceeding actively with projects to attract international conferences and exhibitions, forging ahead to promote tourism and restaurant businesses in tandem with surrounding local governments. In another example, the municipal government of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, has developed an endoscope in collaboration with a local medical university and small and midsize businesses.
 福岡市は、国際会議や見本市を積極的に誘致し、周辺自治体の観光・飲食産業と連携した地域振興策を進めている。静岡県浜松市は、地元の医科大や中小企業と内視鏡手術装置を共同開発した。

The city government of Kumamoto has been working on a project aimed at turning the farming sector of the city and its environs into what is known as the “sixth industry,” by having local companies process farming products in the region and seeking to spread their marketing routes nationwide.
 熊本市は、圏域内の農作物を企業が加工し、全国に販路を広げる6次産業化に取り組んでいる。

Other municipalities are well-advised to exercise wisdom in fleshing out their own industrial promotion measures by referring to these good examples.
 各自治体は、こうした先行事例も参考にして、独自の振興策に知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

Besides the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, government offices including the secretariat of the Cabinet Office; the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry; the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry; and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry have separately appropriated budgets for regional revitalization purposes and worked to establish necessary legislation. This a typical example of vertically segmented bureaucratic administration devoid of coordination.
 政府内では総務省以外に、内閣官房や国土交通、経済産業、農林水産省などが別々に地域活性化の予算を計上し、関連法を整備している。縦割り行政の典型だ。

The government will soon set up a “regional reinvigoration promotion headquarters” headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. All ministries concerned must take this opportunity to coordinate more closely with each other to adjust and consolidate their efforts to ensure the government policy produces synergistic effects.
 政府は、近く安倍首相をトップとする「地方創生本部」を設置する。これを機に、各省が緊密に連携・調整し、政策が相乗効果を生むようにしなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 6, 2014)

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