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Kagoshima-gov.-news 2009 vol. 18

Kagoshima Prefecture Foreign Language E-Newsletter
"Kagoshima-gov.-news" (30/1/2009 vol. 18)
- Message from the Director of International Affairs, Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau, Kagoshima Prefectural Government

- Latest happenings in Kagoshima    
* The 2008 International Affiliation Exchange Commendation (A Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award) conferred on the Ichikikushikino-Salinas Sister City Association
* The "Kyushu- Yamaguchi Modern Industrial World Heritage Site" makes a bid at World Heritage status!  - The 1st public symposium on the Site and inaugural meeting of the Kyushu-Yamaguchi Modern Industrial World Heritage Site Advisory Committee

- Report from the municipalities of Kagoshima
* Experience the blessings of the sea through thalassotherapy (Wadamari Town)

- Introduction to Kagoshima
* A Guide to Sports Camps in Kagoshima (Part 2)
* Information on professional sports camps in spring (as of 19 Jan.)

- Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner
* Letter from Yu Shui Fang, Coordinator for International Relations in Minami Satsuma City

Message from the Director of International Affairs, Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau, Kagoshima Prefectural Government

* <A Message from the Director of International Affairs Division, Jan.2009 Issue>
    Hello, everyone; how have you been faring these days since we ushered in the new year of 2009?
    For Kagoshima, a prefecture close to East Asia, we have achieved various successes in our internationalisation efforts and international exchange initiatives.
    The 16th Hong Kong-Kagoshima Conference was held in Sept. last year in Hong Kong, where the Conference and various associated programmes were held; scheduled flights resumed between Hong Kong-Kagoshima after a 5-year hiatus; high school students from Hong Kong and Macau visited Kagoshima under the "Japan-East Asia 21st Century Exchange Programme" implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a good number of exchanges spanning the range of youth exchange, sports, arts and culture took place. Furthermore, in recent years, people-to-people exchange has seen a boost with the increase of Japanese language courses for Hong Kong undergraduates while many initiatives to augment exports of Kagoshima's specialties such as Kuroushi (black cattle) beef and Kurobuta (Berkshire) pork have been implemented. We look forward to seeing more of such wide-ranging exchanges in the future.
    Similarly, exchanges between Singapore and Kagoshima flourished with the 14th Singapore-Kagoshima Conference held in Jan. last year in Singapore and the various youth, sports and arts exchanges. Furthermore, Kagoshima has seen a new trend in its exchange with Singapore with the recent increase in the number of junior high schools from Singapore visiting on school trips and participating in educational exchange with the local schools; the invitation and hosting of Japanese F&B operators to Kagoshima to augment exports of Kagoshima's produce to Singapore; the Kagoshima food and products fairs in Singapore; endeavours to lift the ban on pork imports from Japan in Singapore, etc.
    Ties with the Jiangsu Province of China were further strengthened with the signing of the "Agreement to Further Friendship between Kagoshima and Jiangsu Province" during the courtesy call on Governor Luo by Governor Ito in Sept. Vice-Governor Okazumi also headed a delegation to the Jiangsu Province in Oct. to attend the "Celebration Conference on the 30th Anniversary of Jiangsu's International Friendly Exchanges" and discuss further collaborations.
    The Jeollabuk-do of South Korea saw 12 high school students from Kagoshima visiting Korea in Sept. under the "Japan-Korea Exchange Festival High School Students Exchange Project" where they not only took part in the "Jeonju Sori (Vocal) Festival" held in Jeollabuk-do but also represented Kagoshima in the "Japan-Korea Exchange Festival 2008 in Seoul". The students deepened their knowledge of the Korean culture and introduced their own culture in return through a number of exchange activities such as a school visit to the Honam High School in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do and a stint of home stay.
    Other exchange programmes held in the year include the sending of a Kagoshima delegation to the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil in Nov. to attend the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Brazil Kagoshima Kenjinkai and the centennial anniversary of Kagoshima immigration to Brazil that saw some 800 attendees in total. The 91-strong Kagoshima delegation led by the Governor and the Chairman of the Kagoshima Prefectural Assembly visited Brazil where they expressed appreciation for the many years of hard work put in by the people, and also participated in a discussion session with ex-scholars and ex-technical trainees of Kagoshima.
    In addition, international exchange within the municipalities and non-government international exchange have recently become more diverse with the arrival of various delegations of high school students from East Asia and inter-school exchange under the "Japan-East Asia 21st Century Exchange Programme" implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    Aside from the abovementioned exchanges, recent endeavours to realize the establishment of scheduled flights between Taiwan and Kagoshima have given us great expectations that product and people-to-people exchanges will be brought to the next level once scheduled flights are in place. Currently, air traffic between Taiwan and Kagoshima is handled by frequent chartered flights.
    Our present efforts include the strengthening of an information and contact network with overseas friends such as yourself and working at promoting international exchange that will also prove beneficial to industrial revitalisation.
    In closing, I would be grateful if everyone will spread the word about this online newsletter and help us garner greater attention and interest.

Latest happenings in Kagoshima
* <The 2008 International Affiliation Exchange Commendation (A Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award) conferred on the Ichikikushikino-Salinas Sister City Association>
    The International Affiliation Exchange Commendation is a nationwide award given by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations to local authorities or non-profit organizations to commend initiatives or programmes that abound in ingenuity and efforts in order to promote regional internationalisation.
    We are pleased to say that the Ichikikushikino-Salinas Sister City Association was awarded this prestigious award this fiscal year.
    The Association was formed from close exchanges between volunteer organisations that were established with the trend of immigration from the city of Kushikino to California. Since then, both cities have built a 53 year-long relationship, engaging in exchanges such as reciprocal visit and homestay programmes held once every 2 years. Such exchanges have been noteworthy in their contributions to the nurturing of youths and regional internationalisation.

* <The "Kyushu- Yamaguchi Modern Industrial World Heritage Site" makes a bid at World Heritage status! - The 1st public symposium on the Site and inaugural meeting of the Kyushu-Yamaguchi Modern Industrial World Heritage Site Advisory Committee>
    The "Kyushu- Yamaguchi Modern Industrial World Heritage Site" was jointly nominated by 11 cities and 6 prefectures, including Kagoshima; this bid was officially recognised and included on UNESCO's tentative list of World Heritage Sites in September last year.
    To kick-start efforts for the World Heritage Site bid, the Kagoshima Prefectural Government set up a World Cultural Heritage Promotion Office within the Planning Division on 1 Dec. last year. The Office organised a World Heritage Site Symposium in Kagoshima City on 12 Jan. that saw some 300 people attending from within the prefecture and beyond. All members of the audience paid great attention to the lectures presented by the experts and the panel discussion held during the symposium. The inaugural meeting of the Advisory Committee was held the next day on 13 Jan. where over half the committee members were experts from overseas. During the meeting, the 8 members of the committee engaged in active debate about the viability and future issues concerning the World Heritage Site bid.
    We will continue our endeavours to make a successful bid for the UNESCO World Heritage Site status by holding regular meetings of the advisory committee, organising public symposiums as well as working closely with the national government and related organisations.

Report from the municipalities of Kagoshima
* <Experience the blessings of the sea through thalassotherapy (Wadamari Town)>
    Some 552 kilometres to the south of Kagoshima City, lies the island of Okinoerabu. Seeming to bob gently on the sea, the island is a year-round tropical and sub-tropical paradise of flowers, with islanders actively gardening and producing Erabu lilies, spray chrysanthemums, etc.
    Okinoerabu Island: an island where rays of dazzling sunlight seem to pour straight from the sky; where sparkling turquoise waters of the sea is complemented perfectly by the azure sky; where deep red hibiscus flowers bloom in profusion; where waves dancing towards the shore and receding create a soothing melody...
    The "Thalasso Okinoerabu", built with the aim of creating an island where visitors can rest their weary bodies and souls, is situated at a scenic location facing the sea. Comprising 5 different zones, the facility also boasts a thalassotherapy pool where visitors can vary methods of use to suit their individual health needs.
    At the relaxation corner, visitors can rest and relax their minds and bodies, forget their daily cares and worries with the various treatments offered in rooms fragrant with aromatherapy essential oils.
    Furthermore, a large number of visitors also work at improving their physical fitness through weight training, stretching and yoga classes in the facility's training room. As of 15 January, the facility has seen a whopping 300,000 visitors!
    The hospitality shown by the simple and friendly islanders will be sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of your travels.
    Do come and visit the island of Okinoerabu! Men shori (welcome)!

* thalassotherapy is a natural form of seawater therapy. The name is a combination of the Greek word thalasa, meaning sea; and the French word therapeia, meaning therapy.

Introduction to Kagoshima
A brief introduction to the geography, climate, history and various industries of Kagoshima.
* <A Guide to Sports Camps in Kagoshima (Part 2)>
    It is now the season for various professional and amateur sports teams such as soccer teams and professional baseball teams to visit Kagoshima and embark on their training camps proper in numerous regions within the prefecture.
    This spring, there will be a total of 13 professional sports teams due to visit Kagoshima on their training camps, including the Japan National Soccer Team that ended their training camp recently (numbers as of 16 Jan.)
    Starting from 27 January, Kagoshima will see a steady stream of athletes arriving for their sports camps including 8 J-league teams, 2 professional soccer teams (Seongnam Ilhwa, Ulsan Hyundai) and 2 professional baseball teams (Lotte Giants and Heroes) from Korea.
    There are a couple of reasons for the popularity of Kagoshima as the location of choice for sports camps. The relatively warm climate of Kagoshima is a given, while the fact that Kagoshima is ranked 2nd in Japan for its number of hot springs is also a main factor. In addition, Kagoshima is also famed for its cuisine, which showcases the prefecture's abundant agricultural and marine resources such as Kurobuta (Berkshire) pork and Kuroushi (black cattle) beef.
    The prefectural government is implementing several initiatives to encourage residents to extend mass welcomes to the visiting sports teams and also turn up as spectators at friendly matches. One such initiative is the setting up of stamp booths at camp venues, where spectators can collect a fixed number of stamps and send in the completed card to take part in a lottery. Prizes include regional specialties of the area where the sports camps are located and various team-related goods. (this contest will be held from 27 Jan.-10 Mar. 2008)
    There are numerous soccer training matches scheduled for the duration of the sports camps, hence residents will have many opportunities to see at close range and experience the appeal of professional sports.
    Be sure to grab this chance to see a professional sports training camp in action!

* < Information on professional sports camps in spring (as of 19 Jan.)>
1. National team (1 team)
* Japan National Soccer Team (Ibusuki City)
Ibusuki Iwasaki Hotel                10-18 Jan.

2. J-League (8 teams)
* Jubilo Iwata (Kagoshima City)    
Kamoike Stadium                    8-18 Feb.
* Shimizu S-Pulse
Fureai Sports Land                    8-17 Feb.
* Sagan Tosu (J2 team) (Kagoshima City)
Kamoike Stadium                    18-22 Feb.
* Nagoya Grampus (Ibusuki City)
Ibusuki Iwasaki Hotel                4-15 Feb.
* Kashiwa Reysol (Kirishima City)
Kokubu Sports Park                    9-16 Feb.
* Ehime FC (J2 team) (Satsuma Town)
Kaguya-hime Grounds, Hokusatsu Koiki Park        2-15 Feb.
* Vegalta Sendai (J2 team) (Satsuma Town)
International Golf Resort Kyocera            27 Jan.-6 Feb.

3. K-League from Korea (2 teams)
* Seongnam Ilhwa  (Satsuma Town)
International Golf Resort Kyocera            6-20 Feb.
* Ulsan Hyundai (Kirishima City)
Kokubu Sports Park                    15-27 Feb.

4. Professional baseball (minor league) (1 team)
* Chiba Lotte Marines (Satsuma-sendai City)
Satsuma-sendai City General Sports Park        9-26 Feb.

5. Professional baseball from Korea (2 teams)
* Lotte Giants (Kagoshima City)
Kagoshima Prefecture Kamoike Baseball Stadium    1-10 Mar.
* Heroes (Kagoshima City)
Kagoshima Prefecture Kamoike Baseball Stadium    1-10 Mar.

Please note that the above information is as of 19 Jan. and may be subject to changes according to the schedules of each team.

Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner

* <Letter from Yu Shui Fang, Coordinator for International Relations in Minami Satsuma City>

The Ria of Minami-Satsuma City
    Hello, everyone! I'm Yu Shui Fang, the Coordinator for International Relations in the city of Minami-Satsuma and I would like to introduce to all the wonder that is the ria of Minami-Satsuma City.
    According to the Encyclopaedia MyPedia (an encyclopaedia database available in Japanese electronic dictionaries), rias are jagged coastlines formed when water levels rise and drown valleys previously formed by abrasion of the bedrock by river sedimentation. By all accounts, this name was coined after the Rias Coast: a jagged (as seen from above) coastline along the north-eastern region of Spain.
    I'm from the city of Shanghai, which is just an ocean across from Minami-Satsuma as both cities are along approximately similar latitudes. However, the coastline of Shanghai presents a view starkly different from that of Minami-Satsuma. Shanghai is located on the delta of the Yangtze River, the 3rd largest river in the world. Thus, the coast of Shanghai is not so much a coast as more of a shoal formed from a long stretch of river deposition. Even the land upon which the city is built was formed only during the early 10th century. Used to seeing such a flat coastline, I was greatly amazed and deeply moved when I first set my eyes upon the magnificent ria of the Minami-Satsuma City.
    If we liken the Satsuma Peninsula to the zodiac animal of the year, the ox (Japanese years follow a 12-year zodiac cycle in which each year is associated with an animal in the cycle), we can imagine Mt. Kaimon as the nose, the Noma Peninsula as the horn and Bonotsu as the forehead of the ox. The valleys that form the ria are mainly concentrated around the areas stretching from the "horn" to the "forehead" of the "ox".
    At the vicinity of Noma Cape, where the "tip" of the "horn" would be, the Ushiro Beach stretches all the way to the Tachigami Rock. Taking in the towering quays and rock formations, I was literally bowled over by the majestic sight. Standing at the top of a mountain alongside imposing windmills, I was positive that if I were to yell at the top of my voice, the echo would travel across the ocean and reach as far as China. Mt. Noma, with its graceful ridges as viewed from behind, was the initial recognition and sign of having reached Japan for Chinese trading ships bound for Japan in the past and served as a landmark for ships.
    Moving south from the "tip" of the "horn" along Route 226, we will reach Akimeura, where the famous Chinese monk, Ganjin, initially set foot in Japan. The view of Okiakimejima Island sitting calmly amidst the waves of the small bay in Akimeura has probably been unchanged since 1200 years ago; however, this sight could not be enjoyed by the venerable monk as he had lost his eyesight by then. The Ganjin Museum, set upon a small hill, invokes in visitors deep respect for the achievements and deeds of our ancestors. The unveiling of a stone statue of Ganjin depicting him in meditation on 23 June 2008 has also given this picturesque little town a new ray of sunshine.
    Going further south on Route 226 and driving along the curvy coastline of Bonotsu, we will reach the Kushi Bay, Tomariura and Boura. The Kushiura of Kushi Bay is a creek that was oft-used by ships from China and Ryukyu (present-day Okinawa) in the past. Further into the creek leads to Hakataura, where a bustling Chinatown flourished in the days of old. Remnants of the town's former glory are evident in the cobbles and stone walls constructed by stonemasons from Ryukyu (present-day Okinawa) and remind visitors of its fashionable past.
    This area is also well-known as a diving spot due to the extremely clear waters around the coastline. The coral reefs provide a multitude of amazing sights while the surrounding islands and rocks create an underwater fairy realm from which divers cannot bear to tear their eyes away. The Sokenseki rocks of Bonotsu, resembling a couple of swords pointing at the heavens, is a famous sightseeing spot within Japan as they are seen to represent the indomitable spirit of the Japanese envoys to Tang.
    Should you visit Kagoshima, do make an extra trip down to the city of Minami-Satsuma. Enjoy driving along roads lined with sheer precipices and cliffs while taking in the vast beauty of the ria landform and experience the charm of this historical town of Bonotsu, formerly known as Nitto-michi (the path to China).



Editor's Note (International Affairs Division, Kagoshima Prefecture Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau)

How was this month's edition of the "Kagoshima-gov.-news" E-Newsletter?

In order to better connect Kagoshima with readers from around the world, we are always striving to enrich and expand the contents of the articles and reports in the Kagoshima Prefecture Foreign Language E-Newsletter "KAGOSHIMA-gov.-news".
We would greatly appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions that you may have concerning the way that Kagoshima-related news is covered abroad.

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 Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau
 10-1 Kamoike Shinmachi, Kagoshima City
 Kagoshima Prefecture 890-8577, Japan
 Tel: +81-99-286-2306
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